City of Dayton opens Love Locks wall

Dayton Mayor Caroline Wadzeck adds her own padlock to the Love Locks art installation at the Dayton Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

The first locks have been added to the Love Locks wall, a new art installation at the Dayton Community Center. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, the Dayton Enhancement Committee hosted a grand opening celebration and invited the public to begin adding their own padlocks.

The art project is a 6-foot tall by 26-foot long galvanized steel and mesh wire structure that has been placed on the north side of the Community Center next to the public walking trail. It will be adorned with padlocks as a sign of a committed union between two lovers, and will also provide a perfect backdrop for photos and marriage proposals.

Funded through a grant to the Dayton Enhancement Committee through the Dayton Community Development Corporation, the Love Locks project was created by DEC volunteers in an effort to beautify the city and attract visitors.

The Love Locks wall outside of Dayton Community Center is now open and ready for new locks to be added.

“None of the projects we do for beautification are funded by the City,” said Mayor Caroline Wadzeck in her capacity as a DEC volunteer. “We get money through Hotel Occupancy Taxes but that has to be spent on tourism. We’ve also gotten grants and private donations. The Dayton Historical Society has funded several of our projects, too.”

Kimmie Woods, a volunteer for Dayton Enhancement Committee, provided the labor and steel for the Love Locks project at his machine and welding shop.

“I have been involved with them (DEC) since they started in 2016. I live in Liberty and got involved in Dayton, and they have been trying to convince me to move ever since,” Woods said with a laugh. “I enjoy this. It’s rewarding to see the smiles on everyone’s faces at the things we do to enhance and beautify the city of Dayton. I am honored to be involved. It’s meant a lot to me and a lot to my business.”

Woods was among the first to add a padlock to the wall in recognition of his love for his wife.

“A lot of memories can be made right here. Love for family and friends, and all your anniversaries, to be able to come out here and celebrate events in your life,” he said.

Susan Simmons, who leads the DEC, recognized Woods’ other contributions to the organization.

“Kimmie did the post office at The Crossroads and has done so many things for us,” she said.

The inspiration for the art project in Dayton came from Kaylee Davis, a Dayton High School student who spent a summer interning for the City of Dayton. She shared the idea with her supervisor, Kim Judge, director of Development and Planning Services for the City of Dayton, who encouraged her to present it to the city council for approval.

Davis has since graduated from Dayton and is attending Lee College in Baytown. She is pursuing a degree in chemical engineering and plans to transfer to the University of Houston in December to continue her education.

Kimmie Davis adds a lock to the Love Locks wall at the Dayton Community Center.
Dayton Enhancement Committee members get ready to unveil the Love Locks wall at the Dayton Community Center.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Beautify the city and attract visitors?? Believe me, anyone who comes to Dayton can wait to get the heck out of there because of the traffic.

    Everyone who supported this with tax dollars should be run out of office.

    • Evidently you can’t read or comprehend what you did read. The project was funded by volunteers and the tourism tax from the area hotels. It states plainly that not citizens tax dollars were used for the project. DEC oversaw the project of which all memebers are volunteers.

  2. Some people have too much idle time on their hands. This is laughable. If they divorce what happens. Bet it will be a lot of tears when they take one off.

  3. This is sweet. They have these love lock bridges all over the world. If you want to see a full one, there is one in Houston at Allen Pkwy and Vaugh. I don’t think this is meant to draw visitors.

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