The state of Florida will be getting an important new public monument after Brooks + Scarpa has been chosen to design the new Florida Holocaust Memorial at the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee.
The competition was decided by the Florida State Legislature, ending a seven-year-long process that began with former congressman Jared Moskowitz’s proposal in 2015. Once complete, the 2,304-cubic-foot memorial will occupy a site on the Edward Durell Stone-designed Capitol’s South Plaza.
Visitors will encounter the interactive Passage of the Heart sculpture through a limestone portal leading to a bronze-clad interior where 22 individual backlit panels signifying the same number of countries with Jewish populations impacted during the Holocaust.
Random numbers etched into the panels symbolize the registration numbers forcibly tattooed on victims oftentimes upon entry in one of the hundreds of concentration camps that were administered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.
Digital projections will enhance the educational component of the memorial as it heightens the visitor experience. The deliberate and eventual weathering of the exposed material serves finally as a metaphor for the durability and perseverance displayed by the Jewish people throughout history.
Per the architects: “We want to prompt visitors to think about their moral and ethical responsibilities when they see injustice. There is also a location between the walls of the memorial where visitors can place and leave small mementos reminding others that the memorial is about real people, tragedy, hope, and the power of the human spirit.”
The state is home to a significant Jewish population that is now represented by the presence of the memorial structure, which cost a total of $600,000 to construct. The project will be completed by the end of the year and joined by memorials honoring victims of slavery and an infamous early-20th century reform school later in the decade.
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