World War II Killed-In-Action Monument

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois


The proposed monument is located adjacent to the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial. It recognizes the enormous sacrifice of the 23,000 Illinois Veterans who gave their lives in the line of duty during the Second World War by inscribing their names on its walls.


The monument is a star in plan, symbolic of the gold stars that are given to families that lose someone in war. The names are engraved into alternating light and dark bands of metal to create a field of horizontal stripes. It is conceived as a literal, conceptual, and physical synthesis of meaning and form.


Commissioned Project: 2007-08

Research Associate: Ryan Sarros


World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois


The memorial honors the 987,000 men and women from the State of Illinois who served this country during World War II. This new memorial was planned for an irregular site shaped by the formal dictates of two previously built memorials - the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1988) and the Illinois Korean War Memorial (1996). 


The memorial features two black granite walls reach out to the adjacent memorials to create a unified movement sequence among all three. Each wall features a chronology of events for a theater of battle – one for the Pacific Theater, the other for the European Theater. At the end of each chronology, at the apex of the composition, the walls merge and transform into a circular granite bench surrounding a 12 foot diameter white concrete globe cast by sculptor Dann Nardi.  Each event identified on the walls is marked with a stainless steel medallion on the globe. The globe represents the distant places where the war was fought and is intended to act as a catalyst for reflection and contemplation.  The magnitude of the war becomes immediately comprehensible as one examines the events highlighted on the globe. 


Adjacent to the globe is a second inner series of black granite walls with quotations by wartime presidents Franklyn D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, as well as generals and admirals. The walls surround a plaza paved with gray granite bricks inscribed with the biographical information of Illinois WWII Veterans. The space in the middle of the composition is for both commemoration and personalization. The bricks are arranged in a taut military grid facing the globe.


Commissioned Project: 2001

Completed: 2004

Research Associate: Jereme Smith

Associate Architect: Isaksen Glerum & Associates

Globe Sculptor: Dann Nardi Studio


  • Design award, AIA Central Illinois Chapter, 2006

  • Silver Medal, Association of Licensed Architects, 2007

  • Publication, The Chicago Tribune (AP), 8/11/03, 6/1/04, 12/6/04, 1/11/07

  • Publication, Springfield’s Sculptures, Monuments, and Plaques, Arcadia Publishers, 2008

Peoria County World War I & II  Veterans Memorial

Peoria, Illinois


The First [World] War explains the second and, in fact, caused it, in so far as one event causes another. (A.J.P.Taylor)


From the historical perspective of many decades, we can begin to understand the essential relationship between the two world wars of the twentieth century. It is therefore fitting that Peoria County has envisioned a single project that commemorates both wars. The Memorial features three similar white granite columns in two groups to represent the roman numerals “I” and “II.”  The columns are supported on black granite plinths. The plinths act as “cenotaphs”, or empty tombs, inscribed with the names of the county veterans who lost their lives in the wars.The memorial honors the 28,000 men and women from Peoria County who served during World War I & II. 


The site for the new memorial is the northeast corner of the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza.  Opposite the site, on the southeast corner, stands the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, dedicated in 1896 to veterans of the Civil War.  The alignment of both projects along the east corners of the plaza form a historic continuity of monuments commemorating significant 19th and 20th century events. The low limestone retaining walls of the plaza are continued into this square and wrap around the memorial, becoming an integral part of the urban open space developed in the courthouse block.


Commissioned Project: 2002

Completed: 2007

Research Associate: Lovina Bajaj

Feasibility Study Sponsor: Caterpillar, Inc.

Associate Engineers/Landscape Architects: STS Consultants


  • Presentation, International Making Cities Livable Conference, London, 2004

  • Honorable Mention, AIA Central Illinois Chapter, 2008

Maryland World War II Memorial

Annapolis, Maryland


This proposal fuses the symbolism of the memorial intentions to the significance of the chosen site.  The central feature of the proposal is a channel of water dedicated to Maryland's contribution of service and supply, action and material, in the war effort. Viewed from the northern approach, the water channel is visually continuous with the Severn River, symbolically connecting the water flowing through the memorial to the waters of the world.


Surrounding the water channel are a series of commemorative gardens. At the north end is the Maryland Court, dedicated to the "home front" and to Maryland industry. Along the water channel are the War Chronology Gardens, commemorating specific events of the war, and the Service Memorial Gardens commemorating the seven services.


The southernmost feature of the proposal is the War Service Court, dedicated to those who served for Maryland and the United States during World War II. At this point, the visual association between the memorial and the context is replaced with a symbolic association: the waters of the water channel cascade onto a spherical representation of the world. The surrounding walls separate this courtyard from the Maryland context.  It becomes a place of reflection and remembrance, a place to contemplate the distant reaches of the war. 


Design Competition: 1996


  • Second Place Award, National Design Competition, 1996
  • Exhibition, I-Space Gallery, Chicago, 1996
  • Publication, Competitions Magazine, Louisville, KY, Winter 1996/97
  • Publication, The Chicago Architectural Journal 10, 2002

Workers Memorial

Dodds Park, Champaign, Illinois


A Champaign County labor organization requested a pro bono study for a monument to county workers who suffered work-related deaths.  The project is located adjacent to the Tribute to Olympic Athletes in Dodd’s Park, completed five years earlier. 


The memorial sequence begins with a flag framed gateway from the parking area.  Visitors walk a winding path of brick pavers through a grove of ornamental trees dedicated to each worker.  The path abruptly stops at the center-point of a low constructed reflection space burrowed into the site.  The end of the path contains a line of black granite that symbolizes the suddenness of the workers’ deaths.  Their names are recorded on brick pavers beyond this line.  The space of the path then transforms into flowers and ornamental groundcover, a constructed pond and fountain, and finally a grove of existing river birch trees.


At night a concealed light source within each sidewall projects light onto the area dividing path and flowers, illuminating the names of the dead.


Pro Bono Project: 1996-97

Design Associate: Ryan Sarros


The New England Holocaust Memorial:

"six million (w)holes for the wind to blow (k)no(w) through".

Boston, Massachusetts


...allow the unspeakable to draw its force from its own silence. --Elie Wiesel


Six million (w)holes speak individually and collectively.

A simple circular void, a single loss of substance,

multiplies to become

a myriad of mandela patterns, a glittering transparent screen,

a solid urban wall.


Six million (w)holes gently weave between the trees,

and through the box hedges and cross walks to form a wall

four hundred and sixty three feet long,

and nine feet high


At night the figural pattern reverses: 

six million holes become six million souls


Six million (w)holes collectively create a serpent in a garden.

Silent and alive.


Design Competition: 1995

Research Project: 1996


Salem Witch Trials Tercentenary Design Competition: 

"Twenty Voids of Matter Lost, Lives Removed..." 

Salem, Massachusetts


Twenty voids of matter lost, lives removed:

Twenty trees to hang witches from.

Twenty shadows frame figures of light.

Twenty thresholds, each named for a victim.

Twenty entrances to a pool of light.

Twenty memories for the living to dance among.

Twenty openings to frame your portrait in.

Twenty visits remind us it could happen again.

Twenty voids of matter lost, lives removed:


Design Competition: 1991

Design Collaborator: Jonathan Hammond


Tribute To Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

Dodds Park, Champaign, Illinois


The thing we long for, that we are, for one transcendent moment.  (James Russell Lowell)


The Tribute rises from an ordinary prairie landscape transformed into playing fields, gardens, and a community college campus.  It honors the extraordinary achievements of Champaign County residents who have participated in the Olympic Games, and its granite platform is inscribed with their names, the inspiring words of James Russell Lowell, and the Olympic symbol of linked rings.


Visitors to the Tribute move from an approach walk to a series of intermediate platforms, then to the final, climactic platform from which they can view the surrounding countryside. The forced perspective of the approach walk and gateway gives the illusion of great depth, expressing the great endurance and long commitment required in the athletes’ pursuit of excellence.  This rising progression is a metaphor for the path traveled by the Olympians as they compete, strive, and excel through discipline and desire.


The inscribed granite platform beyond the gateway—the smallest but grandest plateau—represents the pinnacle of achievement.  Finally, the steps connecting that platform to the ground suggest the personal glory of achievement is transitory, and the process toward excellence must begin again.


The Tribute is conceived as a strong geometric counterpoint to its naturalistic setting.  At the same time, it is physically and psychically connected to that setting.  It is embedded in and grows out of the soil of its place, a symbolic reminder of the Olympians’ bond with the community that honors them.


Design Competition, First Place Award: 1989

Completed: 1991

Re-Dedicated: 2016

Associate Architect: Isaksen Matzdorff & Associates


  • First Place Award, Olympic Tribute National Design Competition, 1989

  • Winner, American Society of Architectural Perspectivists, 1990

  • National Design Award, Concrete Steel Reinforcing Institute, 1991

  • Honor Award, AIA Central Illinois Chapter, 1992

  • Publication, Architecture in Perspective.  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992

  • Publication, Inland Architect, September-October, 1992, Chicago, IL

  • 25-year re-dedication as Tribute to Olympic and Paralympic Athletes, 2016

​​Significant Structures | Urbana house's new owner, architect take designer's modernism to new heights

​​"Victor" Meditation Hut featured in calm down. recreational architecture

​​"Victor" Meditation Hut featured in Modern Butterfly Roofs on

Spaces of Serenity featured at AIA'19. 

From Olympians to Blind Pigs, lecture at Vallès School of Architecture, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain, September 25, 2018


Jeffery Poss Architect, PLLC

Jeffery S. Poss, FAIA, Principal


Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Jeffery S. Poss, Architect