Design competition open to re-imagine Monument Avenue
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 8/23/2018, 6 a.m.
How would you re-imagine Monument Avenue?
That’s the question behind a new design competition called “Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion.”
The nonprofit Storefront for Community Design and mObstudiO at Virginia Commonwealth University launched the competition amid the ongoing debate over the future of the five Confederate statues on Monument Avenue.
The two entities have issued an open international invitation for teams of planners, architects, artists or anyone else who wants to submit formal design ideas on Monument Avenue by the Dec. 15 deadline.
Participants must register and submit a $75 fee by Sept. 15.
Up to $10,000 may be awarded in prizes.
Participants are asked to “reconsider Monument Avenue, its role as a historic urban boulevard, its viability as 5.4-mile interurban connector, its presence in Richmond given the city’s emergence as a diverse and progressive city and its significance.”
The VCU studio and SCD made it clear in the announcement that it is an academic exercise aimed at generating ideas and constructive discussion, but with little prospect of being implemented.
The invitation was first issued in April, well ahead of the in July release of a report by Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s Monument Avenue Commission calling for the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue and the addition of “context” signs to the other four Confederate statues.
According to the published call for entries, submitted designs are to be exhibited at The Valentine, the Downtown museum of Richmond history. Except for information on the entry forms, the designs are not to include any identifying information, the organizers stated.
An exhibition featuring the entries is to open on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, and run through Dec. 1, 2019.
Awards are to be announced Nov. 20, 2019, following a review of the entries by a panel of expert jurors. A People’s Choice honoree also is to be selected based on reviews by exhibition visitors.