About this artwork
The aim of the Chicago War Memorial competition was to “adequately memorialize the sacrifices and services of all who served in the world’s war and in a manner relating not inharmoniously to the adjacent architectural and landscape elements of Grant Park and the yacht harbor.” The memorial was to be constructed on a man-made island in Lake Michigan across from Buckingham Fountain. The competition resulted in 114 entries that were narrowed to four finalists by the jury. Finally, a scheme by the New York architects Eric Gugler and Roger Bailey was selected. Second place was awarded to Benjamin H. Marshall, a Chicago architect.
The proposal by Voorhees, Gmelin, and Walker was among the finalists cited by the jury for its originality. The rendering by John Wenrich captures the intention of designer Ralph Walker to portray not only the brutal agony of war but also the serenity when wars will no longer be waged.
The first place design’s high cost, estimated to be between two and five million dollars, and the economic depression of the 1930s meant that no monument was ever executed.
- Currently Off View
- Architecture and Design
- Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker (Architect)
- Chicago War Memorial Competition Entry, Chicago, Illinois, Perspective
- Chicago (Building address)
- Graphite and watercolor on paper, mounted on illustration board
- 56.5 × 41.6 cm (22 1/4 × 16 3/8 in.)
- Gift of Haines Lundberg Waehler in honor of their centennial