John F. Kennedy Memorial
Main Street, Dallas County Historical Plaza
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
Funded by private donations and designed by Philip Johnson in 1970, the open-roofed square room of four solemn walls contains a black marble slab, engraved with the words "John Fitzgerald Kennedy."
Philip Johnson’s design is a “cenotaph,” or open tomb, that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit.
The memorial is a square, roofless room, 30 feet (9 m) high and 50 (15 m) by 50 feet (15 m) wide with two narrow openings facing north and south. The walls consist of 72 white precast concrete columns, most of which seem to float with no visible support two feet above the earth. Eight columns extend to the ground, acting as legs that seem to hold up the monument. Each column ends in a light fixture.
At night, the lights create the illusion that the structure is supported by the light itself. The corners and “doors” of this roofless room are decorated with rows of concrete circles, or medallions, each identical and perfectly aligned. These decorations introduce the circular shape into the square architecture of the Kennedy Memorial.
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The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a monument to U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas. It was erected in 1970, and designed by noted architect Philip Johnson.
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