San Diego, California
This Veterans’ Memorial is located on a sloping, half-acre circle of private land within a larger City park, atop the highest promontory along this section of coastline. Although ninety years old, the site has been continually maintained for the last 50 years by the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association. As their contribution to millennium celebrations, the Association set in motion a major project to repair and substantially improve the facility.
Particular emphasis was placed on enhancing visitors’ awareness of the deep and varied contributions made by so many individuals and their families in times of war — past and present. The design parti includes a series of 6 low walls, radiating elliptically from a fore-stage pedestal marked with an American flag. These walls wrap the steepest part of an existing brick-stepped ascending circle, all culminating at the most recent of historic crosses (1913, 1923, 1954).
Brick walkways pass alongside smooth, clean walls, which over time will be filled with a quilting of 3200 engraved, black granite plaques — bringing visitors into close contact with individual acknowledgements and recollections. Parabolic landscaped separations and open green areas provide visitors with places for contemplation, as well as sweeping 360 degree views to the Pacific Ocean, coastal foothills and Mexico beyond.