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  Design Winnder: 'Passage of Remembrance' by Susan Narduli & Andrea Cochran  

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For press inquiries or to schedule an interview, please contact Elizabeth Murray, Managing Director of the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, through the contact information listed below.


Contact:  Elizabeth Murray at (415) 554-6306

Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
(415) 252-4638 or

The three Veterans Memorial proposals will be on view for public comment starting Wednesday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 22, in the lobby of the War Memorial Veterans Building.

Press Preview at 4 p.m. in the War Memorial Veterans Building Green Room.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2011 – Three final design proposals for the San Francisco Veterans Memorial will be unveiled on June 7, 2011, at a Preview Reception in the War Memorial Veterans Building Green Room.
The San Francisco Veterans Memorial Project is headed by former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who co-chair the Veterans Memorial Steering Committee, which is raising private funds for the design, installation and maintenance of the Veterans Memorial.  The Steering Committee has raised nearly $1.7 million towards the $2.5 million Project cost, which includes a $500,000 maintenance endowment.

“This is a significant milestone.  The final design proposals are moving this project one step closer to fulfilling a promise made to our veterans 80 years ago,” said MajGen J. Michael Myatt, War Memorial Trustee and Chair of the Veterans Memorial Working Committee.

The original 1920’s plans for the War Memorial Complex called for a veterans’ memorial in the Memorial Court, the landscaped area between the War Memorial Opera House and Veterans Building, which was designed by San Francisco landscape architect Thomas Church.  The Memorial Court contains soils from battlefields throughout the world where Americans have fought for their country.

The San Francisco Arts Commission conducted a national design competition for the Veterans Memorial.  Three artist teams were selected as finalists in November 2010.  The final proposals will be placed on public display from June 8 – 22, 2011, in the Veterans Building main lobby.  The San Francisco Veterans Memorial is planned to be formally dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012.

Each proposal honors Thomas Church’s original design by incorporating the octagon shape located at the north end of the courtyard.  The three design concepts are aesthetically diverse and represent distinct visions for the memorial and surrounding courtyard.

The design proposal by Larry Kirkland and J. Douglass Macy enhances the original octagonal path by raising the mound in the center and encircling it with granite that will include an explanation of the sacred earth housed within.  Located along the courtyard’s central access, is a 100’ x 7’ reflection pool bordered by a paved pathway.  The center of the pool features a cast bronze folded American flag resting on a plinth containing earth collected from veterans cemeteries to honor the sacrifice of all individuals through all generations who have served their country. 

The focal point of Susan Narduli and Andrea Cochran’s proposal is a series of three reflection pools circumscribed by an octagon of stone.  Seen from above, the pools form a circle of gently flowing water that glides over polished stone in sloping planes from the street to the garden below. The interplay between the circle and the octagon is meant to symbolize the merging of heaven and eternity (circle) and earth (octagon).  An open metal weave walkway floats above the water and takes visitors through the memorial.  Referred to by the artists as the Passage of Remembrance, the walkway is anchored on either side by basalt walls that reflect the image of passersby.  The west wall is inscribed with a poem by World War I veteran Archibald MacLeish titled “The Young Dead Soldiers do Not Speak”.

Norman Lee partnered with Principal Scott Slaney and Associate Ricardo Supiciche of SWA Group. Inspired by the military tradition of marking sacred ground by laying down a wreath, their proposal features a suspended sculptural wreath of gilded military dog tags.  Together, the dog tags coalesce into a shimmering constellation of remembrance meant to honor the individual and collective sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.  The ring-shaped form of the wreath embodies continuity, collapsing time and space to connect current service members with those who have served before.  The wreath is illuminated from a circular plaza of granite below featuring an embedded steel capsule with the interred soils located at its center.  The octagon’s granite surface is awash in a thin membrane of water at various times of the day, synchronized to the rising and falling sea level of nearby San Francisco Bay. 

June 7, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. - Digital images of three final design proposals available at

June 7, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. - Press Preview of final design proposals

War Memorial Veterans Building Green Room
401 Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, California
RSVP to Kate Patterson at 415-252-4638 or

June 7, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. - Preview Reception - Veterans Memorial Final Design Proposals
War Memorial Veterans Building Green Room

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The San Francisco Veterans Memorial Site
The San Francisco Veterans Memorial will honor a 75-year promise to our nation’s military veterans by installing a Veterans Memorial in the Memorial Court, located between the War Memorial Veterans Building and Opera House. Landscape architect Thomas D. Church’s original 1920’s vision called for a memorial and the Veterans Memorial Steering Committee is raising private funds for its design, installation and maintenance.



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