Virginia War Memorial

VAWarMemorial_feature_EricPiasecki_2013.jpg
Richmond, VA
United States
Virginia War Memorial

Landscape Information

Dedicated to veterans from Virginia, this memorial occupies a bluff overlooking downtown Richmond and the James River. At its highest point, the memorial features the Shrine of Memory, an open-air structure commissioned in 1950 by the General Assembly of Virginia and designed by Virginian architect S.J. Collins. The narrow, rectilinear shrine, open on the north and south ends, is enclosed by a white marble wall on the western side. The eastern side, comprised of thirteen regularly spaced columns interspersed with glass panels, is etched with the names of more than 11,000 military members killed in war since 1950. Near the south end stands a 23-foot tall white marble statue named Memory. The statue’s pedestal also supports the Torch of Liberty, an eternal flame in a shallow metal bowl, and rises from a V-shaped reflecting pool that extends beyond the flat roofline of the structure towards the Flag Court. The adjacent and distant landscapes are visible through the glass wall and from the southern point of prospect. The ground plane is paved with finely dressed ashlar masonry blocks.

Glavé and Holmes Architecture designed the 17,300-square-foot Education Center north of the shrine, completed in 2010. Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects designed the E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheatre, sited within the L-shaped open space formed by the Shrine of Memory and the Education Center. Stone pathways, stairs, and native grass plantings connect the two structures with the 250-person amphitheater, which is comprised of five nested, descending semi-circles of stone seats set into the grassy slope.