MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tyre Nichols’ name will forever be etched in Tom Lee Park, in downtown Memphis. With the stroke of a pen, Tyre Nichols’ name is now synonymous with Tom Lee Park

“This is what Memphis is all about. Pulling together in times of crisis,” Tyree Daniels, from the Memphis River Partnership said.

A crisis, that struck Memphians and the world to its core, as Nichols’ endured a beating at the hands of Memphis Police officers.

“I’m gonna miss him so much. Ty was just a beautiful soul, like I said,” Rowvaughn Wells, Tyre’s mother said.

On Friday, at 2 p.m., the Nichols and Hyde families signed the first piece of wood before it is put into place at the end of the ceremony. Weeks after his death, the Hyde Foundation felt compelled to keep his memory alive by naming a piece of Tom Lee Park after him.

“We all wanted to do something in some small way to put a little bit of a salve on the wound for the family for the family of his loss,” Barbara Hyde, CEO of the Hyde Foundation said.

The structure is set to be called Sunset Canopy in memory of Tyre Nichols, which officials and family say embodies everything Nichols stood for.

“Hyde Foundation is privileged to dedicate Sunset Canopy to the memory of the life of Tyre
Nichols,” Barbara Hyde said. “We know that the riverfront was a special place for Tyre. We’ve all seen his beautiful photos of the sunset over the Mississippi and his lovingly respectful photo of the iconic Tom Lee sculpture.”

“He would love this. It’s nothing more he liked more than watching that sunset on the Mississippi. He’s a California kid so for him to come out here to Memphis and be embraced by all of you is a beautiful thing,” Rodney Wells, Tyre’s father said.

This is a gesture that means the world for the family of the beloved father, brother, and son. 

“This is another historic day; we’ve had quite a few the last few days but for our family I think this best one,” Rodney Wells said.

Construction is set to be complete later this year. Plans are also in the works to have a plaque placed in Nichols’ memory.

The Sunset Canopy will be 20,000 square and feature multi-purpose courts, allowing different activities like yoga, concerts, basketball and more.

The new Tom Lee Park is scheduled to open after a $60 million renovation on Labor Day weekend of 2023.