During the 2015 pilot phase, the Monument Lab team collected 455 monument proposals from public participants at Philadelphia'sCity Hall. Each person was invited to describe and/or sketch an idea, offer a proposed location for a monument, and optionally share their zip code and age. Each monument means something to the person who visualized it as a representation of what the city means to them, and, in turn, how they are a part of the city’s ongoing history and memory. Our goal is not to choose the best proposal or only select one to realize, but rather continue to critically organize and reflect on the collective knowledge produced through this creative research project.

Philadelphia Monument Lab’s team of scholars, curators, students, and artists will continue thinking through the public’s proposals with future installations, publications, and creative collaborative research. The proposals are available as a free dataset on OpenDataPhilly. We welcome your observations, maps, and ideas. We invite you to reflect with us through reading the data and continued dialogue on the history and future of Philadelphia.

  • 455
  • 3–76 YEARS OLD
  • 25



Each point represents a proposed monument to answer the question "What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia??"





Explore the 455 monument proposals collected by the Monument Lab team.









Analyzed by High School Interns

Monument Lab Research Interns meet with members of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy staff at City Hall in July 2015.

Final Report Excerpts:

During the past four weeks, my classmate and I have analyzed submissions to the Monument Lab of Philadelphia in search of a common purpose. We were trying to figure out the right way to categorize...In the final week, I found myself with a theme that had risen to the top: human interaction. In one way or another, every person who submitted to the Monument Lab wanted people to interact with their piece….People no longer wanted their monuments to just be marble statues, but to go beyond the stone and make their ideas accessible to the city.
— Melissa, Monument Lab Research Intern
A common theme that I saw when looking through the proposals was youth appreciation and uplift. I saw a lot of positivity. The youth being the subject of a monument would be refreshing. Something that represents history during our lives so we can relate emotionally. Something that we can actually interact with instead of just walk by. Something innovative….Judging from personal experience, it is very often that teenagers walk past a lot of monuments that are supposed to serve a purpose. Reason being, we don’t feel like it represents who we are and society today...I think it’s time to note the history that is currently taking place.
— Jada, Monument Lab Research Intern