William & Mary unveils design concept of slavery memorial

26 August 2020 (Last Updated August 26th, 2020 10:32)

William & Mary, a research university in the US, has submitted a finalised design concept for the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved to the Board of Visitors.

William & Mary unveils design concept of slavery memorial
The design has been created by architectural firm Baskervill. Credit: Baskervill.

William & Mary, a research university in Williamsburg, Virginia, the US, has submitted a finalised design concept of the Memorial to the African Americans Enslaved to the Board of Visitors.

Created by architectural firm Baskervill, the design is based on a concept proposed by William Sendor ’11 as part of an international competition hosted by the university in 2018 to gather ideas.

Titled ‘Hearth’, the memorial will be similar to a brick fireplace and will include the names of people known to have been enslaved by the university.

Located on the Historic Campus on the south side of the Wren Building, it will be 16ft wide, 45ft long and 20ft high.

William & Mary president Katherine Rowe said: “The final concept design has the gravitas we sought. It gives dignity and presence to those who were enslaved by William & Mary and whose labour built the university, without romanticising that painful history.

“In the process of refining the design, we recognised that the memorial site will reimagine the Jamestown Road entrance to campus. Both symbolically and actually, the first step for many on campus will be through this more forthright telling of our history.”

The memorial construction will be led by Kjellstrom & Lee and work is expected to start next year.

Upon completion, the memorial and surrounding area will reimagine the Jamestown Road pathway to the Historic Campus of the university.

The Board of Visitors, which launched fundraising for the project, will match the private funds, covering the total project cost at $2m.

The project originated from a resolution that was passed by the Student Assembly during the 2007-2008 academic year.