New Orleans AIDS Memorial - Atlas Obscura

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New Orleans AIDS Memorial

The neighborhood surrounding the memorial was the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in Louisiana. 


Washington Square park located in the Marigny and bordered by the alluring Frenchmen Street, houses a discreet sculpture along the Dauphine Street fence. The New Orleans AIDS Memorial is a Tim Tate design unveiled in 2008 following an international design competition for the memorial.

Local artist Mitchell Gaudet cast and built the piece titled “Guardian’s Wall” featuring 34 glass faces set in an 8-foot tall 35-foot-wide structure. The installation alongside neighboring benches with memorial bricks offers a place to reflect, heal, and understand the human toll of the AIDS epidemic.

The global AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s and in the subsequent decades has claimed more than 39 million lives. The stigma associated with the infection often leads to isolation and loss of community. While there have been major medical advances, AIDS still represents a public health concern.

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