This usable and contemplative memorial is situated at the back of an ancient cemetery located on high ground above New Hartford, Connecticut. Even the cemetery’s name, The Old Burying Place, conjures up a shiny prospect and delightful warmth more conducive to picnics and romantic hideaways than to the grim business one associates with bone yards.
Indeed, those memorialized by this monument were just those sorts of people -- people who court the positive side of life -- and the alluring quaintness of this cemetery appealed to them. Their memorial too departs the somber display of typical graveyard monuments and reaches out to invite lively participation with visitors, who may sit on its inflected benches for conviviality, to continue life’s debate with one another, or just to reflect on the beauty of this special setting. Significantly, the participatory nature causes one to look from this memorial rather than at it. This is also why it is designed as an unfinished work. Its unfinished nature purposefully suggests a work in progress, every bit as alive as the subsequent generations who visit it.
The monument is carved from solid Stony Creek granite. The middle remains a rough unshaped boulder while the two ends reveal finely detailed curving benches hidden within. The revealed evolution manifest in the design forms a metaphor for the continuity and renewed discovery of life.