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Frederick Douglass Plaza

Floura Teeter provided landscape design services to the University of Maryland to create a plaza commemorating Maryland-native, Frederick Douglass. The new plaza is located entirely on the rooftop of the existing Hornbake Library – currently home to first editions of all three Douglass autobiographies and historic collections of his life and writings.

The project includes replacement of existing paving, installation of new seating, lighting and planting, placement of a Frederick Douglass statue, and significant quotes by Frederick Douglass.

The Frederick Douglass Square uses an open design, promoting individual exploration of this commemorative space. Natural stone provides a solid foundation for the impressive Frederick Douglass statue. The statue is placed off-axis on a low pedestal. New curbed planters border the north and south boundaries and embrace the eastern edge; evoking Douglass’ Irish tenure while buffering adjacent activities and defining the square’s frame. A vertical corten ‘wall’ highlights Douglass’ spoken words. Significantly, this wall is rooted in the green of his Maryland home and Irish supporters. A simple planting palette of native grasses and flowering perennials highlight the change of season and compliment the stone interior of the square. Lighted benches provide seating and opportunities for reflection in view of Hornbake Library and within the shadow of Douglass’ statue.

Frederick Douglass Square was honored with a 2017 Merit Award from Maryland ASLA.

Project Category: Education

Client: University of Maryland, College Park

Engineer: Wallace Montgomery

Landscape Construction Costs: $250,000

Awards: MD ASLA Merit Award, 2017

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