An underutilized, derelict corner of downtown Gulfport was reinvigorated by a Christian Preus Landscape Architecture (CPLA) design. A lone pavilion stood, surrounded by overgrown vegetation and hardly paid tribute to the men that lost their lives serving our country in one of the most defining moments in American History.
Volunteers constructed the original memorial pavilion, so it was important to pay homage to the previous effort that was made to honor our Veterans. All of the names of Gulfport residents who lost their lives in battle were placed on metal panels framed within the pavilion.
A bluestone plaza surrounds the structure, and a masonry seat wall that matches the Hancock Bank Centennial Plaza across the street, borders the stone and forms a nice urban edge. Lawn break out rooms with benches spill out from the plaza to create softer more intimate spaces. The original flagpole and granite monuments were all incorporated and reused in the design.
At night, all of the vertical elements are lighted, which makes the pavilion a major focal point in the downtown.
The memorial serves as a space for large civic events such as Veterans Day ceremonies, or for something as small as a few people taking a lunch break outside. It is formal, yet approachable, and most importantly, it is a place where people can pay tribute to our greatest generation.