Memorial Design -- May 2010
Plans for a national suffragist memorial at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, Va. are a step closer to reality. The conceptual design for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial was unveiled by architect Robert Beach of Robert E. Beach Architects, LLC, on May 12th, 2010, during a fundraising event at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Va.
Some of the design features for the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial include:
Entrance Plaza Gates duplicating the White House gates where suffragists stood as “silent sentinels” in protest and held “watchfire for freedom” rallies.
Commemorative Banners anchoring the entrance, replicating those carried by the suffragists.
A Memorial Cascade and Waterfall emanating from a wall mounted with more than 120 stainless steel plaques that identify the women incarcerated for the cause and copy the design of the “jailed for freedom” pin that was presented to them by Alice Paul.
A Footbridge Into A Memorial Meditation Garden symbolizing the crossing over and/or advancement of the movement and signifying the continuing push for equality.
Nineteen Interactive Vignettes along a winding path that will provide the history of the suffragist movement and the story of the women held at the Occoquan Workhouse. Historians with the Sewall Belmont House and a Smithsonian curator are participating in the creation of the vignettes.
Cost estimates for the memorial range between two and four million dollars. Efforts are underway to phase the construction of the memorial, beginning with the brick staging area and the gardens. The goal is to have the memorial built by the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August of 2020.Memorial Design -- April 2010
Architect Beach’s vision is to transform a grassy area in Occoquan Regional Park into a garden with walking paths, interactive stations, a bridge, and a water feature. It’s hoped the site will become a destination for tourists and students. Educational components are integrated into the design and will outline the history of the suffrage movement and the experiences of the suffragists held at the Occoquan Workhouse. The memorial’s location is already identified by wayside markers detailing suffragist history and falls within the Lorton Historic District. Beach worked with members of the Interpretation and Design Committee to create a place of “empowerment.” His design also takes advantage of the riverfront view and incorporates existing structures.
The conceptual plans are the culmination of a series of visioning meetings. Beach offered four site plans incorporating current and planned development in the area. The plan that was chosen by the Turning Point Suffragist Committee will reflect the strength of the women involved in the movement and the significance of their struggle.
TPSM Committee Members working on plans for the future memorial.