A major milestone was commemorated last week as key leaders gathered at the site of the new National WWI Memorial to celebrate the start of construction.
Following an extensive review and approvals process with the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission received building permits from the National Park Service (NPS) for the first phase of construction to begin. The first phase will consist of a 360-day project to rebuild Pershing Park—while preserving and restoring many features of the culturally significant site—to prepare it for the eventual installation of the memorial bronze sculpture entitled, "A Soldier's Journey."
The design team includes Joe Weishaar as Conceptual Artist and Sabin Howard as Sculptor—who together won the international design competition for the Memorial in 2015—as well as GWWO Architects as Architect-of-Record and Land Collective as Landscape Architect.
Located in Washington DC’s historic Pershing Park, the new memorial will bring long-overdue recognition to America’s 4.7 million sons and daughters who served in the Great War. Those men and women served with the same valor and courage as the veterans of later wars already honored by national memorials, and the nation’s sacrifice for WWI was great—204,000 Americans returned home wounded and 116,516 did not come home at all.
Pershing Park occupies a prominent place in our nation’s capital at the terminus of Pennsylvania Avenue as it approaches the grounds of the White House and it opens up to views of the Washington Monument and the National Mall. A 60-foot-long, 10-foot-high bronze figure sculpture by artist Sabin Howard will be the centerpiece of the renovated 1.76-acre landscape, located at the terminus of a revivified reflection pool. New horticulture will frame the memorial and infuse the park with social purpose, while new circulation connections will be made to help the park host more active space.