Can Parks and Memorials Happily Co-Exist?

Can parks and memorials happily co-exist?
Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. Photo © Allen Russ

The National Mall in Washington, DC is saturated with monuments and museums and, while there is little support for adding more to the Mall, there is support for continuing the tradition of building monuments in the city. While it is a fraught process that requires approvals from numerous agencies and advisory panels, including the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission, when well managed with clearly articulated goals, the results can be impressive.

Consider the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial located along the Tidal Basin — that commission was won by Lawrence Halprin in 1974 (though it would be another 23 years before the memorial opened), and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (also on the Tidal Basin), designed by the ROMA Design Group and chosen from more than 900 competitors. Perhaps the most notable example in the last 35 years is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin and selected from more than 1,400 submissions. These Modernist insertions into Washington, DC’s monumental core were skillfully handled and demonstrated great site sensitivity.

The designs also established significant — and symbolically rich — visual and spatial relationships with adjacent memorials, thus creating a unique physical narrative of key points in the nation’s history. []

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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