A spiraling, sunken court with a 24-foot-high chamber to encourage reflection has been chosen as the memorial design for a site where the remains of hundreds of slaves and free blacks were found 14 years ago.
The design for the African Burial Ground, by architect Rodney Leon of Aarris Architects, was unveiled Friday at a news conference in the federal building next to the site in lower Manhattan.
"It's an opportunity to tell our story to the world and to specifically honor the memories of those ancestral Africans who have passed," Leon said. "It is a story and a history of extreme sacrifice and the profound contributions that the African people have made to the creation of the United States of America."
Archaeologists working for the federal government found the remains in 1991, as construction was being planned for the federal building. More than 400 sets of remains were discovered, and part of the site was preserved. The remains were studied by scientists and reburied in fall 2003.