Monument to Free Expression

Charlottesville, Virginia
Year Completed:
Structural design.
Project description:
The Monument to Free Expression on the Downtown Mall of Charlottesville, Virginia.…
While a relatively small project structurally, this is a very large project culturally. Centered on the walking mall of Charlottesville, the Freedom of Speech Wall (aka the Community Chalkboard) is a highly visible and tactile monument to the right to free expression enshrined in the First Amendment. Pete O'Shea (now a principal at O'Shea|Wilson Siteworks) and Rob Winstead (now a Senior Associate at Stantec) collaborated and won the hotly contested competition for the design of the monument, and called on us to provide structural details for the wall and footings. Charlottesville is a college town, so we designed the wall for 'drunk frat boy' loading, anticipating a row of college pranksters with their toes in the chalk tray, trying to roll the wall over. To date, the wall remains erect and proud.