The winning design for the WWI Memorial, selected in January 2016 after a two-phase competition, is titled The Weight of Sacrifice, and was submitted by GWWO Architects, New York sculptor Sabin Howard, and Chicago architect Joseph Weishaar. Their proposal would replace an onsite kiosk and cut a path through Friedberg's concrete pool, a defining feature of the 1.8-acre park.While many in landscape architecture and preservation circles acknowledge the importance of a WWI memorial, they believe the memorial design will alter Pershing Park beyond recognition. In a letter to the NCPC, Friedberg called the memorial's defining feature "a persistent and intrusive one note wall that’s being forced into the space, thus obliterating the scale and meaning of the original design.” The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts had told the WWI Commission in March of this year to come up with a design that wouldn't overshadow the original late modern landscape. For his part, the director of the WWI Memorial Foundation would like a memorial on the National Mall, not Pershing Park. "We're 100 percent for the National Mall," said David DeJonge, president and co-founder of the WWI Memorial Foundation. The park, he said, is a half-hour walk from the other war memorials on the mall, and the park's landmark protections would make it hard for the memorial to be realized in the way stakeholders desire. At the ceremonial groundbreaking last week, Dejonge told Curbed DC that the WWI Centennial Commission had nixed Pershing as the site for the memorial. However, the WWI Commission's Colonel Tom Moe said Pershing is still under consideration as a memorial site. WWI Memorial Foundation Co-Founder and Centennial Commission Vice-Chair Edwin Fountain added that the group hopes the memorial will remain in the park. The WWI Centennial Commission echoed Colonel Moe's statement. "No. We are not moving the memorial. That is an erroneous blog post," said Chris Isleib, director of public affairs at the WWI Centennial Commission, referring to the Curbed piece. To support his statement, Isleib emailed a resolution to The Architect's Newspaper (AN) from a March 22, 2017 Centennial Commission meeting that outlined the group's stance on the National Mall location: "We would obviously like to consider the option of being on the National Mall, but Congress ultimately decides the issue of the memorial's location. ... Congress authorized the memorial for Pershing Park." At the meeting, the 12-member commission voted to consider the National Mall—if the option becomes available. However, shortly before the November 9 groundbreaking last week, according to DeJonge, the WWI Commission again discussed moving the memorial to the National Mall. Isleib at first declined to comment on the encounter, then followed up to say he did not know if any conversation had taken place. DeJonge is hoping to leverage federal law to site the memorial on the National Mall. The former Main Navy and Munitions Building, which sits over Constitution Gardens, was home base for WWI planning headquarters, and given the connection between WWI and the Mall, DeJonge believes a section of the Antiquities Act of 1906 could be leveraged to build the memorial. Among other provisions, the law allows presidents to create national monuments on federal property. To that end, his group is petitioning President Donald J. Trump to authorize the building of the memorial on the National Mall, which is overseen by the National Parks Service. (He outlined the Foundation's plans in a press release last week.) As of now, the memorial is the early stages of design development, and it hasn't gotten final approvals from two key agencies, the NCPC or the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Nor have any building permits been issued. Any D.C. memorial must comply with the Commemorative Works Act, a federal law that guides the construction of monuments on the National Mall and other areas, and gain approvals from the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC). Whatever site is selected, the WWI memorial still faces a stringent and lengthy approvals process moving forward.
Posts tagged with "Memorials":
- Stony Brook University Professor Michele H. Bogart, whose teaching areas include the social history of public art and urban design and commercial culture in the United States;
- Executive Director of the American Historical Association James Grossman whose work has focused on various aspects of American urban history, African American history, the place of history in public culture, and more;
- Julian LaVerdiere, a 1993 graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art and co-creator of the Tribute in Light Memorial;
- Visual journalist and former CNN correspondent Brian Palmer, who has photographed Virginia's neglected African American cemeteries and more;
- Columbia University Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Mabel O. Wilson, whose design and scholarly research investigates space, politics and cultural memory in black America and race and modern architecture;
- Mya Dosch, faculty member of The Cooper Union’s Humanities and Social Sciences who is teaching the fall 2017 course “Take ‘em down: Monuments, Artist Interventions, and the Struggle for Memory in the Americas,” will moderate.
Community members and activists joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and city councilmember Corey Johnson to dedicate the park in memory of those who lost their lives or are affected by AIDS. The dedication included a performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus and the names of those who died as a result of AIDS. The memorial was designed by Brooklyn architecture firm Studio a + i and features an 18-foot metal canopy made from three connected triangles. Artist Jenny Holzer engraved Walt Whitman’s poem, “Song of Myself” in the granite pavers beneath the canopy—her first permanent installation in New York City.
It is appropriately located across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, the second dedicated AIDS clinic in 1984, and is less than a block away from the LGBT Community Center on 13th Street. Although the hospital was converted to condos by the Rudin family and Global Holdings after it closed in 2010, the building is still remembered as being on the forefront of the AIDS crisis. The memorial itself came to fruition in part thanks to the efforts of Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterbrn, who started the NYC AIDS Memorial organization in 2011 and raised more than $6 million to make the monument in honor of those who suffered from the disease.Today was the dedication of the New York City AIDS Memorial and the city-wide World AIDS Day ceremony. The Memorial project was launched in 2011 to recognize and preserve the history of the AIDS crisis through the creation of a memorial to honor New York City’s 100,000+ men, women and children who have died from AIDS, and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of the caregivers and activists who responded heroically to the crisis. The memorial includes a text-based piece by Jenny Holzer which excerpts "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman. #nycaidsmemorial #jennyholzer A photo posted by Cheim & Read (@cheimread) on
“There are no definite dates or victims. In our design process, we emphasize the changing and varied ways through which AIDS affects us personally and as a society,” Studio a + i said on its website. The memorial will also feature a park and a water feature designed by Rick Parisi of M. Paul Friedberg & Partners with Manhattan-based company Rudin Management, offering repose and reflection to everyone.
In Montgomery, Alabama, a new museum and a memorial to victims of lynching—one of the first and the largest in the nation—are set to open in 2017. The Memorial to Peace and Justice, founded by the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and designed in partnership with MASS Design Group, is reminiscent of a gallows, with hundreds of hanging stone slabs inscribed with the names of lynching victims. The EJI released a report last year documenting over 4,000 victims of lynchings between 1877 and 1950 and purchased six acres of hilltop land in Montgomery for the memorial.
Accompanying the memorial will be a museum, “From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration,” that will draw a parallel between slavery and our present-day criminal justice system. Set on the site of a warehouse where slaves were held before being sent to the market, the museum will focus on remembering the history of slavery as well as highlighting contemporary issues related to racial inequality, such as police brutality and wrongful convictions, through interactive displays, and archival footage, photographs, and documents.