The City of Sacramento, with support from the Downtown Sacramento Partnership and members of the Ali Youssefi family, on Oct. 3 officially renamed the plaza formally known as Saint Rose of Lima Park at 7th and K streets Ali Youssefi Square.
Youssefi, a local developer who passed away from cancer in 2018 at the age of 35, was involved in some of the city’s most forward-thinking residential and mixed-use projects. His work included the Warehouse Arts Lofts on R Street and the recently constructed 700 block of K Street — known as The Hardin — across from the park bearing his name.
Councilmember Steve Hansen,Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Congresswoman Doris Matsui and members of the Youssefi family spoke at the dedication ceremony, which saw the unveiling of a special memorial in honor of the developer and community champion.
“From his vision for an inclusive Sacramento, to championing the arts, preserving historic buildings, and creating affordable housing, Youssefi Square is dedicated to Ali’s legacy and his belief in a better tomorrow,” Hansen said.
The vision for the renamed park is for it to be a public square, a place where people can come, share ideas and enjoy. The new permanent memorial serves as a functional sign as well as an art installation intended to inspire the community to make the most of each moment.
A phrase atop the monument reads “our brightest star” followed by a star-like arrow, gesturing up toward the sky. Each round light on the monument symbolizes a length of time: one month of Youssefi’s life.
Collectively, the lights symbolize Youssefi’s lifetime. They are programmed in sequences and configurations that celebrate his favorite constellations and colors.
Alongside a narrative history of the park, a biography authored by Ali’s family rests on the monument with a quote selected by his wife, Azzie, from Neil deGrasse Tyson. It reads: “Stars in the universe that burn the brightest, live shorter lives than others. And with their high-energy light, they transform all that basks in their luminosity.”