Gardening Magazine

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - View up the Slope of the Memorial

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – View up the Slope of the Memorial

This memorial, designed by landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird and architects 1100 Architect, is dedicated to raising the awareness of the visitor of the event know as the Great Irish Famine and Migration or An Gorta Mor (1845 to 1852). In addition it is intended that the memorial raises the visitor’s awareness of the issue of worldwide hunger generally, wherever it may occur. The designers were appointed by the Battery Park City Authority in 2000 and their brief was to design “a contemplative space, devoted to raising public awareness of the events that led to the Great Irish Hunger and Migration of 1845-1852.” It was completed and opened to the public in 2002.

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Side View of Memorial

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Side View of Memorial

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Memorial Entrance

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Memorial Entrance

The walls at the lower level are composed of stratifed bands of Irish Limestone and iluminated frosted glass with text. These poetic walls wrap around the monument and into the entrance tunnel, engaging the visitor and encouraging them to take the journey. The text describes historic and modern reports of the Irish and world wide famines in the form of poems, letters, songs and statistics.

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Stratifed Bands of Stone and Text

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Stratifed Bands of Stone and Text

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Stratifed Layers of Stone and Text

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Stratifed Layers of Stone and Text

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Entrance Tunnel with Text

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Entrance Tunnel with Text

The memorial tunnel exitis into a reconstructed roofless famine era farmhouse (each stone was imported from County Mayo, Ireland). From the famhouse the visitor meanders gently up through an Irish landscape composed of authentic Irish elements. All stones, soil and vegetation are sourced from the west coast of Ireland. 32 stones are arranged along the walk, one from each county of Ireland.

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Rebuilt Famine Era Farmhouse Cottage

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Rebuilt Famine Era Farmhouse Cottage

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - Stone from County Armagh

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – Stone from County Armagh

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA - View from Top of Memorial

Irish Hunger Memorial, New York City, USA – View from Top of Memorial

The journey ends at the top of the monument, 8m above grond level, with a view of the Husdson River and the Statue of Liberty.


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