Alexandria Architect, C.J. Howard, has been named the first place winner of the Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial Design Competition. In addition to receiving the $10,000 first place prize, Howard's winning design will be used as the framework for a detailed site design construction estimate to cost $1.5 to $2 million.
"The City of Alexandria is proud to name C.J. Howard as the winner of this design competition. He has developed a design that will be a fitting tribute to those who escaped slavery. It will be a lasting memorial for generations to come," said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille.
Howard developed his design to "venerate those who are buried at the site, as well as acknowledge the site's historical background." Over 200 designs were submitted from architects, landscape architects, artists, students, and the general public.
The memorial, to be constructed on the three acre site at the corner of South Washington and Church streets, will honor the 1,800 individuals buried there. Most are former slaves who escaped to Alexandria during the Civil War.
Design competition entries, collected from February through April of this year, came from all 50 states and 20 countries worldwide. Submission requirements included interpreting the cemetery site with respect to those buried there and providing a focal point consisting of an artistic or interpretive element that respects the integrity of the graves, historic design of the site, and the scale of the adjacent neighborhood.
Second place winners who will receive a $5,000 award are Santosh Dhamat, Elizabeth Eubank, Solvita Marriott, and Tracy Revis of Howard & Revis Design Services, Washington, D.C. Third place winners receiving the $2,500 award are Paul Simon & Regan Harrold of Beal and Thomas, Inc., Southborogh, Mass.
All design finalist submissions were put on display in June to receive public comment. The final decision was made by the Freedmen's Design Steering Committee.
In addition to cash awards, all winner will be recognized by City Council during their Sept. 23 meeting. Additional information on the winning design is available by visiting www.alexandriava.gov/freedmens.