The original Portuguese Memorial was designed by sculptor Charles De Almeida and constructed of imported Portuguese Limestone. The monument was constructed at Brenton Point, Newport, RI in 1988. Modern and bold in appearance, the monument is comprised of 14 thimbles oriented around a central 20’ high obelisk. By 1997 the Portuguese Limestone was found to be weathering poorly in the exposed ocean-side setting, and by 2001 the entire monument was beginning to collapse. It was disassembled in 2002 and in 2012 BETA was hired to reconstruct the monument and expand the interpretive aspects of the abstract sculpture.
Part of the reconstruction process included a re-examination of the sculptors’ original work, and the preservation of both original and new design concepts prepared by BETA. The software program Sketch-Up was utilized to construct extensive models of the original monument elements as well as a model of new components designed to enhance the visitors’ experience. Sketch-Up was also utilized in the preparation of the Construction Documents to create diagrams detailing the fabrication and assembly of complex stone components.
On October 28, 2013, BETA was recognized, along with other team members, for its important role in the redevelopment of this historic monument in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Brenton Point State Park to unveil the newly remodeled monument.