Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial Design Competition


1st Place
C.J. Howard
Alexandria, VA

2nd Place
Santosh Dhamat, Solvita Marriot, Elizabeth Eubank, Tracy Revis
Howard & Revis Design Services
Washington, D.C.

3rd Place
Paul Simon & Regan Harrold
Beals and Thomas, Inc
Southborough, MA



Memorial Design Competition seeks design submissions to memorialize and honor those who are buried at Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia. The site for The Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial is approximately 3 acres in size and the construction budget of the project is anticipated to be between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000. The winning concept design will be developed into a detailed site design.

Category Other Competition / Open to Students / Competition Result
Type Memorial Idea Competition
Genre Memorial
Country City of Alexandria, Virginia, United States
RegDeadline 25 April 2008 GoogleCal iCal
25 April 2008 (Must be Received)
Eligibility All

The site was established in 1864 as a burial ground for African Americans who fled slavery, seeking a safe haven in Unioncontrolled Alexandria during the Civil War. More than 1,800 people were buried there over the five years that the federal government managed the cemetery. After 1869 the cemetery may have been used unofficially by families as a burial ground but was likely not maintained formally. Over the years, the site has been compromised and hundreds of graves lost from a number of actions: the removal of soil from the cemetery for brick making; the adjacent development of two major highways; and the construction of a gas station and office building on the sacred site. While other physical sites that recalled the once-considerable African American presence in Alexandria have been lost, the City of Alexandria acquired the property in 2007 in order to remove the buildings, reclaim the cemetery, and create a memorial.

The selection committee will be comprised of representatives from the following agencies and organizations:
- Alexandria Archaeological Commission
- Alexandria Commission for the Arts
- Alexandria Historical Society
- Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission
- Alexandria Planning Commission
- Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage
- Friends of Freedmen’s Cemetery
- Historic Alexandria Resources Commission
- Neighborhood Civic Associations
- Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project
- Woodrow Wilson Bridge Neighborhood Task Force

Judging Process
Two-Stage, Anonymous Competition

1st place: $10,000
2nd place: $5,000
3rd place: $2,500
Honorable Mentions

1 board (mounted on 76.2c x 106.7c) and CD included digitally as PDF

Evaluation of entries: May – June 2008
Notification of winner and two finalists: July 2008

City of Alexandria, Virginia

Official Website