Victory Memorial Drive Monument and Gateway Design
Project Type: Site Design; Minneapolis, MN
Client: Hennepin County, Victory Memorial Drive Task Force, and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Restoring, rehabilitating, or enhancing historic sites is always complex and challenging. It is important to thoroughly understand the context of the original design as well as the reasons and ways that it has evolved since its conception. In the case of Victory Memorial Drive, another layer of complexity is present because it is also a gracious memorial to Hennepin County’s World War I Veterans. LHB worked with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, World War I Veterans, the City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County to develop a rich understanding of the Drive’s importance and historical context before designing new Monument and Gateway spaces. The work began with collecting existing information and distilling key directives related to the monuments, memorials, and gateways, as well as a dialog with the many entities involved. Using historical resources, including photos, aerial photography, essays written by the original designer, and other information, the team developed a sense of Victory Memorial Drive’s physical and social context. It became clear through this process that the memorial really is the grand rows of trees and the clarity of the original spaces.