An historical site in downtown Newark destroyed by an arsonist is now a park with a new statue.
Gib Reese, a Newark resident, spearheaded the effort to remove the Old Auditorium Theater. The theater was constructed in 1895, but was ruined when an arsonist set fire to the front of the building in 1968. Reese who heads the Gilbert Reese Foundation, decided to replace the damaged structure with a park and a statue that shows seven children saying The Pledge of Allegiance. Newark mayor Frank Stare says the statue, which is called “the Patriots” adds to the beauty of downtown Newark.
The Gilbert Reese Foundation paid for the park and the statute, which cost about $100,000.