THE Mayor of Orlando today announced the city’s intentions to purchase Pulse nightclub and turn it into a memorial, saying that the site is now “a permanent part of Orlando’s history”.

Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that the city had negotiated a purchase of the club where 49 members of the LGBTI community were killed in June. Dyer assured mourners that the city will not make any immediate changes to the venue.

“There are lots of people that are making a visit to the site part of their trip, part of their experience of Orlando, so I think 12 to 18 months of leaving it as-is would be appropriate.”

The city will turn to the public for ideas as to what the memorial should look like and encapsulate.

Dyer said that the city’s main goal will be to “create something to honour the memory of the victims that are deceased [and] those that were injured, and a testament to the resilience of our community.”

The June 12 massacre was the deadliest perpetrated by a single shooter, the deadliest anti-LGBTI hate crime in US history, and the deadliest terror attack since the September 11 attacks, and it was one that shook LGBTI communities all over the world to their core.

Mourners have been visiting the site continuously since the massacre, leaving photos, notes, stuffed animals, flowers and more, most of which have now been collected for preservation by the Orange County Regional History Center.

Owner Barbara Poma opened Pulse in 2004, naming it in honour of her brother John, who died of AIDS in 1991. The Orlando Sentinel notes that the $2.25 million purchase price is significantly higher than the club’s $1.65 million value.

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