Photo by Matthew Trent
The New York City AIDS Memorial has broken ground in the West Village. It will be part of the recently named New York City AIDS Memorial Park, which lies at St. Vincent's Triangle at the corner of 12th Street and Greenwich Ave. The location was formerly St. Vincent's Hospital, where the local epidemic was primarily treated, just a block from the LGBT Community Center where ACT UP began.
Steel columns from Argentina are currently being constructed onsite to assemble the monument's 18-foot white canopy sculpture. Stone fabricators in Minnesota are currently engraving the Memorial's granite pavers, designed by Jenny Holzer with words from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself." The park will also consist of benches and a central granite water feature.
In 2011, two urban planners, Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn launched a grassroots campaign to create the memorial. Of nearly 500 architects worldwide who submitted their ideas, Brooklyn-based architecture firm Studio AI was selected to design the memorial.
President of the Memorial Organization's Board of Directors, Keith Fox recently released a statement:
We are excited to see onsite installation beginning on the New York City AIDS Memorial. After years of working with the community, local elected officials and other stakeholders to approve a design and raise funds for construction, we are extremely grateful to finally see onsite installation beginning. New York City has come so far in its fight against HIV and AIDS. We are proud to remember the 100,000+ New Yorkers who have died from AIDS and offer the community a place to remember, reflect and learn. Along with the neighboring Stonewall National Monument, this is a proud moment for LGBT historic preservation.
The New York City AIDS Memorial will be the first of its kind in New York City dedicated to the AIDS epidemic. The memorial should be completed by early November in time for a World AIDS Day dedication on December 1, 2016.