LGBT Memorial Competition

TOP LGBT Memorial Competition
LGBT Memorial Competition

In the wake of tragedy in Orlando, Governor Andrew Cuomo established a commission to create a memorial honoring the fight for equal rights and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence.

The Governor, under Executive Order No. 158, established the LGBT Memorial Commission. As New Yorkers and Americans continue to mourn this tragedy, the Commission has been tasked to search for the architects and artists who will design and execute an LGBT memorial honoring all victims of hate, intolerance, violence and New York’s fight for equal rights.

The Memorial Commission and the State of New York have identified the western edge of Greenwich Village as the location for this memorial.

Architects and Artists outside of New York City may apply, but please be aware that the Applicant is required to be present for site visits, approval meetings, installation, and maintenance. 

Commission Members
Commission Members

The commission is comprised of ten members appointed by the Governor, and overseen and coordinated by Counsel to the Governor Alphonso David.

LGBT Memorial Commission members include:

  • Scott P. Campbell, Executive Director Elton John Aids Foundation
  • Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Cristina Herrera, Founder and CEO of Translatina Network
  • Thomas Krever, Chief Executive Officer of the Hetrick-Martin Institute
  • Kelsey Louie, Executive Director of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis
  • Eunic Ortiz, President of the Stonewall Democrats
  • Christine Quinn, CEO of Women and Need and marriage equality advocate
  • Melissa Sklarz, Director, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the NYC Anti-Violence Project
  • Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the New York LGBT Community Center
Competition Timeline
Competition Timeline


October 20, 2016: Call for Architects and Artists Announcement

October 20 - November 21, 2016: Online Competition Submission Period

October 20 - October 31, 2016: Submit Questions to LGBT Commission

November 4, 2016: Publish Responses to Questions on Website

December 2016: Finalize Review of Applications

LGBT Memorial Site
LGBT Memorial Site

The Memorial Commission and the State of New York have identified the western edge of Greenwich Village as the location for this memorial. The site location is subject to review and approval of the Commission.

Please click on the buttons below to view the LGBT memorial site location and site plan.

Site Location Site Plan

Submission Requirements
Submission Requirements

To participate in the competition you must provide the following information and images:

Contact Information (1 page maximum):
Please provide your up-to-date contact information including:

  • Full Name (First and Last)
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address (address, apt, city, state, zip code)
  • Email Address

Statement of Architect and/or Artist Qualifications (2 pages maximum):
Please provide a biography or resume that describes your previous work, exhibition history, awards and honors. Your statement should demonstrate proficiency and technical knowledge in the medium(s) in which the memorial is proposed. Prior experience in public art projects and/or working with art programs or projects that have addressed the LGBT community is a plus. Landscape art proposals, as well as other forms of art, are welcome. The statement of qualifications should also address the following:

  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake the project.
  • Ability to attend one or more community meetings to discuss the project.
  • Confirmation of availability to work in New York during the design and construction period (2017-2018).

Statement of Architect and/or Artist Intent (1 page maximum):
Please provide a summary statement of your proposal's artistic intent, reflecting on the following:

  • Convey artistic innovation and excellence, and be non-commercial in nature.
  • Memorial art piece should address the LGBT community and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence.
  • Memorial art piece should be a creative and original tribute to the LGBT community, and serve as a Beacon of Justice celebrating New York's commitment to the LGBT community and the state's dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society.

Memorial Design (3 pages maximum):
Please provide the following in scaled drawings and/or images that convey the artist's proposal in the context of the memorial's designated site:

  • Site Plan
  • Elevations
  • 3D Rendering

Proposals should address the following:

  • Overall Impact of Proposed Art: Memorial should resonate with the site and evoke a powerful "sense of place" honoring the LGBT community.
  • Site Compatibility & Considerations: Memorial should be compatible with the existing site conditions and location. Please consider the scale of the proposed work in the context of the site's topography and solar orientation. The proposal should engage the park's unique qualities, compliment the park physically and programmatically, and should be feasible within the existing conditions, and not present a safety hazard or other problems (NOTE: Water features will not be considered due to maintenance and operational concerns).

Architects and/or Artists should also take into consideration:

  • The site is a saline environment and is an area susceptible to flooding.
  • Favorable consideration will be given to projects using materials that can be easily maintained by regular park staff with commonly available materials since there is no dedicated budget for maintenance following the installation. The location of the site uses environmentally sustainable cleaning products and cannot apply chemicals that could damage the Hudson River or cause harm to the general public. Design consideration should be given to the projects' resistance to graffiti, scratchiti and other forms of vandalism. 
  • Numerous below-ground utilities exist at and in proximity to the designated site. Projects that do not require extensive (or any) footings may prove more feasible than projects requiring deep footings.
  • The memorial site location is heavily used by the general public. The lawn area where the memorial will be located is popular for sunbathing, and other forms of recreation and activity. The project should be one that can coexist successfully with these activities, while also taking advantage of the waterfront setting.
  • Any new seating, paths and landscape the Architect and/or Artist proposes in conjunction with the memorial are to be considered a part of the memorial and therefore included in the project budget.
  • The memorial design must comply with all State and Local building codes, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Material Selection and Estimated Project Cost (1 page maximum):
The budget for design and fabrication of the memorial site and artwork is approximately $800,000 which includes an artist fee of up to, but not greater than 20% of the final art project cost.

As a part of this fee, the selected architect and/or artist will be required to submit a budget, produce completed designs, select a fabricator and/or contractor and oversee the fabrication and installation of the artwork and any necessary landscape restoration or other treatments required at the site. The staff of the site will be available to provide their technical expertise and site-specific knowledge in support of the implementation of this project, but to the extent subsurface investigations, wind load tests, utility coordination, engineering or other technical work is needed beyond site's in-house expertise, such costs should be encompassed within the design/construction budget.

Please consider all potential costs in the draft estimate of probable cost set within the competition's budget.

    • Constructability: Consider fabrication and installation issues of proposed art piece.
    • Sustainability/Maintenance & Operations: Consideration will be given to the long term maintenance of the proposed memorial. The memorial should not present a safety hazard or other problems. It should not increase park operating or maintenance costs. 
Selection Criteria
Selection Criteria

A selection panel comprised of the LGBT Memorial Commission with advisory design professionals and location site staff will review and select finalists from the submitted artist proposals.

The selection panel will carefully review and select a short list of architects and/or artists based on the criteria below:

  • Interpretation/Clarity of Theme
  • Architect and/or Artist Qualifications
  • Creativity & Originality of Depicted Theme
  • Quality of Artistic Composition
  • Site Compatibility 
  • Constructability
  • Sustainability/Maintenance & Operations
  • Budgetary Compliance
  • Overall Impression of Art
How to Submit Your Application
How to Submit Your Application

Ready to submit your application? Please email the below documents and any questions you may have to [email protected].

  • Contact Information (1 page maximum)
  • Statement of Architect and/or Artist Qualifications (2 pages maximum)
  • Statement of Architect and/or Artist Intent (1 page maximum)
  • Memorial Design (3 pages maximum)
  • Material Selection and Estimated Project Costs (1 page maximum)

Maximum file size: 10MB 
Maximum pages: 8

Applications for the LGBT Memorial Competition must be submitted by November 21, 2016 before 11:59 pm EST. Any application that does not comply with the guidelines, file size restrictions, and maximum number of pages will not be considered.

Submit Application


The following questions were frequently submitted by people interested in entering the competition. 

Q: Is there any page size requirement for the design submission? 
A: Please format your pages to 8 ½ x 11. 

Q: What is the maximum height allowed for the memorial? 
A: There is no height limitation, however all proposals must consider budget, constructability, foundation requirements to satisfy wind load and other applicable code requirements, and maintenance considerations.  

Q: With regard to the Statement of Artist Qualifications, can we include images of past work to demonstrate ability and experience instead of just a written statement?
A:Beyond the specific information requested, Name, Address, etc., you are free to sum-up your education and work experience in text and images as you see fit.  However, the limit remains (2) pages. 

Q: Should the statement and other text documents be saved as a Word document file or as a PDF? 
A: Text documents should be saved in PDF format.

Q: Should image files be saved as JPEG or PDF? 
Either JPEG or PDF are acceptable.   Keep in mind that materials will be printed for review on 8 ½ x 11 paper so they must be legible at that size.

Q: With regard to, "Any new seating, paths and landscape the Artist proposes in conjunction with the memorial are to be considered a part of the memorial and therefore included in the project budget", is an extensive new landscape design required in all proposals, or is the need and scope of landscape design up to the discretion of the artist?  
A: Extensive landscaping is not required, but thought should be given to how the memorial will interact with its setting, including existing paths, seating and plantings.  All elements constructed in association with the memorial project including but not limited to the addition or alternation of landscape features are to be funded through the project budget.

Q: Can we have more existing photos of the site from different angles?   
A: Additional views can be obtained on Google Earth or from a site visit. 

Q: Is it is possible to propose more than one idea per applicant?  If that is allowed, should we submit through separate emails? 
A: We suggest that you focus on your strongest idea and advance that proposal forward. However, if you wish to make more than one submission, each should be a complete and separate submission. 

Q: I live outside of New York. Can I submit my proposal, or it is limited to NY residents only, or open to all States? 
A: As specified in the online “Statement of Artists Qualifications,“ the designer need not live in New York, however they must have the ability to attend one or more community meetings to discuss the project, and be available to work in New York during the design and construction of the memorial.

Q: Please clarify what the symbols “DB” and “EX MH” stand for on the site plan. 
A: DB: Drain Basil; EX MH: Existing Manhole 

Q: Am I allowed to submit images of works relevant to my proposal as well as letters of recommendation as part of my qualifications?
A: Yes.

Q: In what format do 3-D renderings need to be submitted?  Do they have to be hand or digitally-drawn?
A: Renderings can be either hand or digitally-drawn, but must be submitted in JPEG or PDF formats.  Keep in mind that materials will be printed for review on 8 ½ x 11 paper so they must be legible at that size.

Q: If we are proposing a memorial that includes text, should we budget for Braille interpretation and/or an audio option? 
A: Incorporating Braille is up to the artist, however, an outdoor audio system that serves as an integral component of the art work is considered prohibitive with respect to maintenance, and should not be proposed. 

Q: What are the requirements for accessibility? 
A: If provided, access to the memorial should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Q: Can teams of artists submit a proposal for the commission, or is the opportunity restricted to individual artists?  Our company designs and builds exhibits for a variety of clients and we’re wondering if a company would be eligible to be considered an “artist” for this competition.  
A: There is no objection to a team making a proposal submission, in doing so however it should be made clear how the project team would manage any required agency review, design advancement and fabrication issues.  

Q: Do we have to submit a drawing of the proposed monument that shows where it will be installed on the site?  Can we submit a photo of a scale model placed in a model of the site?
A: You should submit images that clearly represent your memorial design.  Images can be created from models, drawings or other documents that convey your proposal in the context of the site.  However, materials will be printed for review on 8 ½ x 11 paper so they must be legible at that size.