369th Design Board

369th Infantry Memorial

Designed for NYC Parks.

This challenging site at the northern terminus of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue commemorates the heroic actions of the 369th Infantry Division.  The 369th fought in World War I, becoming known on both sides as the Harlem Hellfighters for their refusal to back down under any circumstances.  They also spread jazz and American culture through Europe, and were awarded many honors for their liberation of French cities.

The obelisk is an exact copy of a monument in one of the French towns liberated by the 369th.   It was commissioned by citizens of the town and delivered to the 369th in several pieces.  Our challenge was to assemble the monument and create an appropriate setting on this tiny traffic island near the 369th’s headquarters.  We designed the site to create a peaceful experience for individual visits as well as high visibility from the adjoining streets, including the nearby Harlem River Drive highway.  It has become a point of pride in the Harlem community and is even featured on bus tours of the city.




  • Location: Harlem, New York
  • Status: Completed 2006
  • Budget: $100k
369th Layout Plan