PHOTO: Official Renderings Of The NYC AIDS Memorial Released


Even as the LGBT community celebrates the national sea change happening on marriage equality, we mustn’t forget our darkest times: The final renderings for the NYC AIDS Memorial have been released by Studio a+i, the design firm creating the unique monument. The main feature for the memorial is an 18-foot steel canopy, which will frame a granite fountain and benches, as well as commemorative text on granite slabs. (The text will be curated by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and local activists, historians and artists.)

To bring the project to fruition, the AIDS Memorial Park Coalition has launched a capital campaign, which has already received $975,000 of a projected $4 million.

Ironically, the park will be located just outside the former St. Vincents Hospital, where so many early victims of the plague were treated. St. Vincent’s was closed in 2010 and is swiftly being transformed into luxury apartments.

 A memorial in a city where the epidemic had such an impact is a no-brainer. But is the design too sterile and unspecific? Will passersby even think of the thousands who suffered and died, who faced discrimination and hatred, when they stroll by? Or will they think its just another piece of public art.

Play art critic in the comment section below.



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  • Scott

    That sure is a fancy bus stop (that’s what I’m looking at, right?).

  • balehead

    4 million would have bought alot of condoms and done more than this for the fight against aids movement…

  • Buzzct

    Maybe the previous comments were made by some people who don’t remember the whole plague. I do, and I think the location, in particular, is dead-on perfect. As the Village gentrifies and most of the middle class gays are forced out, I hope that many of the new ‘settlers’ will pause in passing, remember the sadness that preceded them, and be more favorable to supporting gay causes.

  • Scott

    Maybe the previous comments were made by someone who doesn’t remember the whole plague, but the first was made by someone who has lived with being positive every day for years now and who has devoted scholastic and charitable energy to making sure people don’t forget it. Not that you could have known any of that from my comment, much less in looking down on it. The article asked “But is the design too sterile and unspecific?” So yes, in a bus-stop-y way (sorry if that’s not reverential enough).

  • TVC 15

    @Scott: I agree. It looks like a fancy subway entrance/bus stop. $4 million, huh?

  • jjpca

    The location is not the issue. It’s the design; sterile and unoffensive. We certainly don’t want to offend the straights who settled into the world created by dead gays…

  • hyhybt

    I liked the mirrors-and-trees design a lot better, but it probably would have been too maintenance-intensive.

  • javiere77

    This is not even the entry that won the competition! This is just crappy!

  • javiere77

    Also, it cannot be called a park… it is just a slab of concrete!

  • Kieran

    I agree with Scott. It looks like a glorified bus stop.

  • Bellerophon69

    Given the magnitude of the AIDS crisis and the length of time that it has impacted the world, I have to say (with some irony) “It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be.” The AIDS Memorial should be actually be a museum, not just a little fancy pavilion that could easily be mistaken for a bus stop, even if that is not the designers intent.

  • viveutvivas

    I don’t like the design at all. It says nothing to me.

  • gppm1103

    It is like a lot of the Holocaust memorials. A lot of them are sterile and meaningless.

    Couldn’t they have put something a little more simple and meaningful, that people would remember those guys and others effected by the disease? Maybe something that shows they didn’t die for nothing…..?

    I don’t know what that would look like, but this is not it.

  • marcopaolo

    Looks like a cabbage/coleslaw grater to me. What was the artist, or it a committee, trying to say?

  • viveutvivas

    It’s a mediocrity. They deserve better.

  • Batchain

    It’s a ridiculous piece of “post-modern” trash and who is so grossly tasteless that they wanted a commemorative “thing” to a disease? Never a thing for polio, “spanish flu” or even ongoing diseases like heart disease and cancer. Fuck the whole “drama” craziness surrounding AIDS it’s just senselessly warped. And, judging from previous comments it’s “not enough” and ought to be bigger and better?
    Half the time it looks like a celebration!

  • hyhybt

    @Batchain: It’s not to honor the disease, but those who have died of it.Just as a war memorial is not to honor war, but those who didn’t return from it.

  • Batchain

    @hyhybt: Oh, I certainly realize it’s for those who’ve died and not the disease or, more precisely, those who are around to see it. It’s just my minority view that it’s garish and morbid.

    But judging by the comments thus far not only am I in a very small minority who feel as I do about the entire concept but it seems that most agree that the finished work is too diminutive in size and ought to have been constructed more on a scale comparable to Disney World!

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