camp barker memorial

Garrison Elementary School, Washington D.C.

The Camp Barker Memorial honors Garrison Elementary's School's history as the site of a 'Contraband Camp.' The site was originally developed as barracks for Civil War soldiers but became a ‘Contraband Camp’ when union forces needed shelter for formerly enslaved persons. An elementary school later replaced the army buildings. The memorial recalls the informal settlement of Camp Barker with a series of thresholds at the site’s entry points.

Each portal takes form as a series of shelters which vary in scale, the largest allowing traffic flow and the smaller ones offering space for reflection. The exterior charred wood recalls the strength and hardship of the former slaves. Hardened by burning, the charred wood is UV, weather, rot, fire, and bug resistant. The reflective brass interior asks viewers to see and consider themselves in relationship to the site’s history.