Pulse nightclub in Orlando, site of 2016 homophobic mass shooting, to become memorial

Orlando nightclub Pulse, which was the site of a fatal homophobic mass shooting in 2016, is set to be turned into a permanent memorial.

On Monday 23rd October, the city of Orlando City voted to purchase the Pulse nightclub property for $2 million (£1.6 million), following previous failed attempts to buy the land.

The public memorial will be built at the site of the Pulse nightclub, where Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others on 12th June 2016. Until now, the Pulse building has stood unused and surrounded by a temporary display honouring the victims.

“In the interest of solving challenges in a way that brings our community together in love, acceptance and partnership, which is the enduring legacy of Pulse, we have decided to purchase the land from its current owners,” Florida Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). “We believe that this is the best and most appropriate way to expedite the creation of a proper memorial for the Pulse tragedy.”

Dyer added that the city wants to take a collaborative approach, working with families of the victims to create the memorial.

Plans to build the memorial had been in the works for years, but the nonprofit onePulse Foundation announced earlier this year that it was scaling back plans for a $100-million memorial following fundraising challenges. After confirmation of the site’s purchase earlier this week, onePulse shared a statement.

“We are thankful to the City of Orlando for ensuring that the National Pulse Memorial will be located at the Pulse nightclub site, which was always the hope of families of the 49 victims and the Pulse-impacted community,” it read. “We look forward to being a part of the discussion with the City of Orlando as this moves forward.”