The Landscape Architect’s Guide to


Financial District / Government Center

The Garden of Peace

Your Guide
Susannah Ross, ASLA

The nearly 800 people who have their names inscribed in the stones of The Garden of Peace share just one tragic thing in common—each of them was a victim of homicide, his or her life taken prematurely by another human being.

Built in 2004, the memorial was designed by Boston landscape architect Catherine Milena and features the work of artist Judy Kensley McKee, who herself lost her son to violence.

The memorial landscape is intended to represent the grieving process, and is meant to be experienced in a sequence. Visitor’s begin at the high side of the site at “Tragic Density,” a polished black granite stone representing the weight of loss, meander down a gradually sloping walk that follows a dry riverbed of stones etched with victims’ names and dates of birth and death, and conclude at McKee’s hopeful piece Ibis Ascending, with birds in flight rising out of the basin that lies at the riverbed’s terminus.

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