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African Burial Ground Memorial

The African Burial Ground Memorial in Lower Manhattan, built by the General Services Administration (GSA) in a joint effort with the National Park Service, acknowledges Colonial-era Africans buried in the 17th and 18th centuries in what was known as the African Burial Ground. As many as 20,000 free and enslaved individuals are believed to have been interred there.

 

African Burial Ground National Monument


We provided construction management services for the memorial as part of an on-call contract with the GSA. The firm’s responsibilities ranged from planning and scheduling for the research and re-interment of human remains to construction quality management. WSP USA was also involved in preconstruction activities and design reviews for a visitor center in the lobby of an existing building adjacent to the monument. 

The memorial, designed by architect Rodney Leon, includes numerous symbolic elements reflecting African culture, all intended to mark the location as a sacred place. It features a sunken circular court with a map of the world centered on Africa; two small waterfalls; a chamber; and a Circle of Diaspora with signs, symbols and images representing African culture.