West Hollywood, CA
United States
West Hollywood Park, Santa Monica Blvd & San Vincente Blvd Stories - The AIDS Monument since 1 December 2024
City to Assume Responsibility for Completion of AIDS Monument
The City of West Hollywood has assumed responsibility for completion of the AIDS Monument set to be erected in West Hollywood Park. The City Council unanimously approved the plan at its Monday night meeting. STORIES: The AIDS Monument, as it is officially named, will be located where the recently demolished auditorium and swimming pool stood in West Hollywood Park.

The Foundation for the AIDS Monument has transferred the $2.43 million it has raised for construction of the monument to the city. Of that money, $1.98 million was in donations while $450,000 was in state and county grants. The monument’s final cost is expected to range from $4.4 million to $5 million, with the city covering the remainder of that cost. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2021 and be completed by fall 2022.  

Although the AIDS Monument construction will overlap some with park construction in West Hollywood Park, the two are considered to be separate construction projects with their own timelines. The city is expected to issue a request for proposals for a design-build team in the coming weeks. That design-build team will then oversee various subcontractors engaged to complete the work.

The monument is intended to “memorialize the devastation of HIV/AIDS on our nation, honor the courageous activists, caregivers and community leaders through their stories and raise awareness about the history and stigma of having HIV/AIDS,” according to a staff report. Australian designer Daniel Tobin won a 2014 competition for design of the monument. Tobin’s design is a field of 341 vertical strands on a raised platform between the park and San Vicente Boulevard through which people can walk. Each trace represents 5,000 Americans who have died of AIDS-related causes or who are living with HIV.

Tony Valenzuela served as the executive director of the Foundation for the AIDS Monument, overseeing the capital campaign for two years until it was completed in September 2020. WeHo-based attorney Mark Lehman chaired the board of directors for the foundation.
The largest single donation to the monument came from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which gave $500,000. The next largest was a $275,000 donation from Visit West Hollywood, the city’s marketing and tourism bureau.

Image © Daniel Tobin WeHoville

17 November 2020
James F. Mills, West Hollywood