Art Forms Architecture is honored to work with the W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture Projectcommittee and the local community in designing the W.E.B Du Bois Memorial Plaza in Great Barrington, MA. The memorial intends to celebrate the town’s most impactful resident, W.E.B. Du Bois, and create a space to gather and connect people.
The project is situated in front of the Mason Library along the town's vehicle and pedestrian spine. The Mason Library was initially constructed in 1913 in the Georgian Revival style. The library was rededicated in 2007 after an addition and extensive renovations. The goal of the project is to add a stone bench within the sloping oval shape of the existing ADA ramp. A bronze statue of a seated Du Bois will be placed on the bench.
It was a pleasure to engage with the talented sculptorsDana King, Vinnie Bagwell, and Richard Blake, who submitted design proposals for the statue of W.E.B Du Bois. We look forward to the completion of the memorial featuring the statue by Richard Blake.
The project aims to enhance the sense of openness and belonging as a background to W.E.B Du Bois Sculpture while restoring the historic marble step sequence to the library entrance. Existing geometry is already established; the ramp, slope, shape, and relationship to the sidewalk create an encompassing oval enclosure. The overlapping oval shapes delineating the lawn plaza, planter’s edge, seat, and ramp, all radiating from the center at the sidewalk's far side, embrace the flow of energy along Main Street.
Images from W.E.B du bois' exhibition at the 1900 Paris World Fair
W.E.B Du Bois was a prolific figure. His work significantly advanced and expanded the fields of sociology, philosophy, civil rights, education, history, economics, politics, poetry, and more. It is humbling to have been involved in honoring his life with this memorial plaza in his hometown.
See the attachments below for more information on his life and work.