The Landscape Architect’s Guide to

Washington, D.C.

The National Mall & Memorial Parks

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Your Guide
Susan Spain, ASLA

Shockingly different than memorials until that time, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has become a place of healing – meeting the four basic criteria of the design competition: that it be reflective and contemplative in character; that it harmonize with its surroundings; that it contain the names of all or died or remain missing; and that it make no political statement. It was designed to be a park within a park and reflect its surroundings as well as the people looking at the names inscribed on it. The evocative design consists of a black granite wall, a V-shaped gash in the ground with one arm directed toward the Lincoln Memorial and the other toward the Washington Monument.

Learn more about the history of the Vietnam War Memorial.


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