JEFFERSONVILLE — One of the integral minds behind Big Four Station Park will now have his name forever attached to it.
R. Wayne Estopinal Plaza was officially dedicated by the City of Jeffersonville this week, paying homage to the homegrown architect who died in a small plane crash with two others last year.
Through his company, TEG Architects, Estopinal helped design the park, among other local projects.
“There’s so many different landmarks in the city that Wayne created," Mayor Mike Moore said. "I think if you had to pick one out that had the biggest impact on our community and that really brought downtown back to life, it’s Big Four Station Park."
When it came to Estopinal's contributions to the park, Moore said he was a perfectionist with an eye for detail, even going as far as to pick a specific height for the American flag on site.
"He uses a lot of symbolism in the details," Moore said. "The water feature [in the park] was Wayne’s idea to represent the Falls of the Ohio. The metal that’s inside of the light fixtures is representative of the railroad ties that are such an important part of the bridge's history."
The section of the park dedicated to Estopinal encompasses the foot of the bridge, where the symbolic art installations can be found. Now accompanying them is a plaque detailing Estopinal's legacy.
"He would always say, 'Mayor, this will be your legacy,'" Moore said. "Those words penetrated me. As time has gone by, I realize that park is not my legacy. It’s the legacy of Wayne Estopinal. The area surrounding the bottom of the ramp, we thought that was the appropriate place to designate to the memory of Wayne."
Aside from his work as a builder, Estopinal also founded the soccer club Louisville City FC across the Ohio River. This played a role in Moore's decision to hold the dedication rain or shine.
“I found a little humor in the weather," Moore said. "Wayne was a big a soccer guy. Any parent of a kid who plays soccer knows that they rarely cancel those games for a little bit of rain. We weren’t going to cancel the event because of a little rain.”
Estopinal was also recently recognized with a spot on Jeffersonville's Wall of Champions. Despite all the recognition he has received since his passing, Moore said Estopinal would probably find it all unnecessary.
"Wayne was a confident man, and he wanted to do nice things," Moore said. "But he was not the one who wanted all of the glory.”