Charlie Hopkinson allotment garden UKPhoto by Naomi Sachs

Memorials act as catalysts for our individual and collective remembrance and grieving. They can also serve as historical reminders and teachers for future generations.

Though not a garden in the traditional sense, Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. is one of the best examples of memorial as healing landscape. Lin's re-envisioning of the memorial from representational statuary to a more abstract form was revolutionary and marked a significant change in the way that we think about memorials, and what we now expect from them (for images of Maya Lin's memorial and others on the mall in Washington, D.C., link to "Veterans Day, 2010 - Memorials as Healing Landscapes.")

Designers have reacted accordingly, as evidenced by such examples as the Oklahoma City memorial, the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and of course, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Link to the following TLN Blog posts:

"Veterans Day, 2010 - Memorials as Healing Landscapes"

"Landscapes for Remembrance: Cemeteries as Healing Landscapes"

Some good examples of built works:


"The War Memorial as Healing Environment: The Psychological Effect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Vietnam War Combat Veterans’ Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms." (2010) Watkins, Nicholas, Frances Cole, and Sue Weidemann. Environment & Behavior, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 351-375.
View the abstract and/or order a copy of the paper here.

"A Memorial to Evoke the Horror of the Day." Editorials/Letters from The New York Times, Tuesday, December 3, 2003 (in response to Maureen Dowd's "Unbearable Lightness of Memory" column, November 30).

"Living Memorials." The Hartford Courant, 'Living' section, cover story ("Planting a Tree or Garden in Memory of A Loved One Can Ease the Grief").

"The Passions Over the Memorial." Editorials/Letters from The New York Times, Tuesday, January 2, 2004.

Dowdell, Jennifer (2004). "Path of Solace." Landscape Architecture, Vol. 94, No. 1, January, p. 24 ("At Boston College, a mystical journey as 9/11 memorial").

Rainey, Reuben M. (2010) "Therapeutic Landscapes: America's Nineteenth-Century Rural Cemeteries." View (the magazine of the Library of American Landscape History), Summer, No. 10, pp. 18-21.

Dunlap, David W. and Eric Lipton (2004). "Revised 9/11 Memorial to Include Artifact Center." The New York Times, January 14.

Dunlap, David W. (2004). "5,201 Ideas for 9/11 Memorial, From the Sublime to the Less So." The New York Times, February 20.

Eisenman, Theodore (2004). "Memory Never Stands Still." Landscape Architecture, Vol. 94, No. 6, June, pp. 114-117 ("Andy Goldsworthy's 'Garden of Stones' is a living memorial to the Holocaust." Permanent installation at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park, NYC).

Forgey, Benjamin (2009). "The Pentagon Memorial Story." Landscape Architecture," Vol. 99, No. 1, January, pp. 78-87. ("The victims' families, the federal bureaucracy, and the designers worked together to evolve a fitting memorial").
Read an excerpt from the article from the LAM Archives:

Freeman, Allen (2003). "Light Touch." Landscape Architecture," Vol. 93, No. 5, May, pp. 76-81 ("184 Illuminated benches in a maple grove will memorialize the Pentagon's September 11 deaths").

Goldberger, Paul (2002). "Requiem." The New Yorker, January 14, pp. 90-91 ("Memorializing terrorism's victims in Oklahoma").

Goldberger, Paul (2003). "Memories." The New Yorker, December 8, p. 50 (On the 9/11 Memorial).

Goldberger, Paul (2004). "Slings and Arrows." The New Yorker, February 9, pp. 84-87 ("The architectural machinations at Ground Zero can be treacherous" - includes discussion of the memorial by Arad and Walker).

Kay, Janet Holz (2003). "A Hunger for Memorials." Landscape Architecture, Vol. 93, No. 3, March, pp. 114-116 ("Feeding the famine of myth and memory in New York and elsewhere").

Langdon, Philip. "Mishandling A Memorial." The New York Times,.

Raver, Anne (2003). "This Stop: 65th Floor, Rain Forest." Landscape Architecture," Vol. 93, No. 5, May, pp. 135-136 ("Will New York really be a better place with 'Sky Gardens'?").

Vangelova, Luba (2004). "A Monument Rises on the Mall." The New York Times, Sunday, March 28, Travel, p. 3 (On the new World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.).

Wasserman, Judith (2002). "Memory Embedded." Landscape Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 190-200.

Wasserman, Judith R. (1998). "To Trace the Shifting Sands: Community, Ritual, and the Memorial Landscape." Landscape Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 42-61.

Woland, Jake (2003). "The Irish Hunger Memorial: Left Starving for Understanding." Critiques of Built Works of Landscape Architecture, Volume 8, pp. 11-16.


Help us build this list! Know of a great resource in print or on the web? Please share it with us so we can share it with everyone else.

Good links

The AIDS Memorial Grove Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Living Memorials Project

Stumbling Blocks (Stolpersteine)
Holocaust memorial project by artist Gunter Demnig
For a superb description of the project, visit the Obermayer German Jewish Awards page, and for more general information and some nice images, visit the dedicated wikipedia page.

SIEVX Memorial
Canberra, Austrailia
Memorial to the SIEV X tragedy, the sinking of a refugee vessel that took with it 353 lives, most of them women and young children.
Designer: Sue Anne Ware

Have a good link? Let us know!