Race Riot

Hanson Professional Services, Inc.
Springfield, IL

RDG designed a meaningful and inspirational place that is both a physical memorial and emotional experience that captures the pain and loss based on the history of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot.  

The historically rich site is sandwiched between an expanding railroad corridor and the parking lot.  Local leaders sought a meaningful way to preserve historically significant archeological remnants of the 1908 Race Riot.

Our design concept, an “open wound,” honors the lives that were lost during the horrific 1908 race riot and mark the solemn location of homes that were destroyed. The symbolic “wound” speaks to the healing that is still taking place in the community of Springfield and throughout our nation. The design of the memorial also recognizes the critical impact the 1908 race riot had on Civil Rights, commemorating and celebrating the birth of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.) 

This sacred place will become a destination and cultural landmark, welcoming the public and inviting them to enter this poignant story, seeking to educate current and future generations and allow reflection on this moment in time.

This video was created to explain and promote a design concept for a new memorial in Springfield, Illinois that memorializes the lives and property that were lost during the 1908 race riots in that community. The memorial recognizes the still-open wound of racism and honors the humanity of the thousands of black people driven from the city as a result of the riots, and the lives lost. Dozens of homes were destroyed during this horrific event; the memorial design concept marks the solemn locations of the homes that were destroyed while telling the harsh, true history of an event many Americans have never heard of.

An Open Wound

This video promotes the opportunity and potential for a new memorial garden. Focused on the purpose and design concept for a destination and cultural landmark in remembrance of the lives lost.

Award of Excellence in Communication
ASLA Iowa Chapter
AIA Film Challenge Finalist — Justice
National American Instute of Architects
AIA Film Challenge Finalist — Justice
National American Institute of Architects
Merit Award in Design (Unbuilt)
ASLA Central States