Panel Selects Finalists for National WW1 Memorial Design

The statue of Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing which stands in Washington DC's Pershing Park.

The statue of Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing which stands in Washington DC’s Pershing Park.

An independent panel has selected five finalists from among the approximately 350 design proposals received by the US World War 1 Centennial Commission for a new national World War 1 memorial to be created in Washington DC’s Pershing Park.  The winning design will be announced in January 2016.

The location for the new memorial is Pershing Park located along Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets NW, approximately 1 block from The White House.  The park currently contains a statue of General John J. Pershing who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in World War 1.  A place on the National Mall for the memorial is not possible due to a National Park Service moratorium on new memorials there.

The request for proposals specified designs which could be completed for $20M-$25M.  According to DoD sources, the five finalists are: “Plaza to the Forgotten War,” submitted by Andrew Cesarz, Johnsen Schmaling Architects; “World War One Memorial Concept” by Devin Kimmel; “The Weight of Sacrifice” by Joseph Weishaar; “An American Family Portrait Wall in the Park” by Luis Collado, Jose Luis de la Fuente, Jose Luis Perez-Griffo, Ignacio Espigares, Marta Bueno, Shoko Nakamura, of STL Architects; and “Heroes’ Green” by: Maria Counts.

For more details, see the DoD press release here.

Washington DC’s Pershing Park Officially to Become National WW1 Memorial Site

The statue of Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing which stands in Washington DC's Pershing Park.

The statue of Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing which stands in Washington DC’s Pershing Park.

Signed into law on December 19, 2014 by President Barack Obama,  H.R. 3979, the “Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, includes the designation of Washington DC’s Pershing Park as the United States’ national World War 1 memorial.

In the course of the past decade,  the lack of a national World War I  memorial in the nation’s Capital has generated a lively debate among varied points of view.  Some have suggested that the District of Columbia WW1 Memorial, located on the National Mall since the 1930s and recently restored by the National Park Service, be broadened to encompass the nation’s experience in “The War to End All Wars”, though residents of Washington DC, including Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, have been highly critical of these suggestions.  The passage of H.R. 3979 into law has now permanently shelved proposals to re-designate the District’s WW1 Memorial.

Plans for Pershing Park include landscaping improvements and augmentation of the existing memorial to Gen. John “Blackjack” Pershing with additional features honoring the American participation in the First World War.

 

Bills to Create National WW1 Memorial in Washington DC Introduced

The statue of Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing which stands in Washington DC's Pershing Park.

The statue of Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing which stands in Washington DC’s Pershing Park.

Bills introduced in both Houses of Congress on April 28, 2014 seek to designate Pershing Park, named for General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing, as a national memorial for the First World War.  Introduced by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the bills also designate the National World War I Museum and the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City as the US National World War I Museum and Memorial.

Enhancement of the park’s World War 1 interpretive features would be left to the United States World War One Centennial Commission, and the bill would also amend the Commission’s charter to add additional members.

For more information, see the story in theexaminer.com here.