President's House Memorial
City of Philadelphia
Independence Mall, Philadelphia
When Philadelphia was the capital of the fledgling democracy, the nation’s first two presidents—George Washington and John Adams—lived and worked on today’s Independence Mall. To memorialize the site’s history and stories of the enslaved who also lived at the President’s House, the City of Philadelphia held a nationwide design competition. As one of four semi-finalists, H+R was hired to prepare renderings, drawings and a scale model for public display at Philadelphia's Constitution Center. The concept includes a memorial plaza that marks the floor plan of the historic house and features quotes inscribed into the granite. Bronze full-figure sculptures, bas reliefs and model work by artist Ed Hamilton capture key scenes from the home's history and the lives of its occupants, both free and enslaved.