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Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

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In the wake of recent protests in support of social justice, racial equality, and decolonization, activists, scholars, and community leaders have called for a radical reassessment of monumental practices across the world. As a result, hundreds of monuments and memorials honoring controversial figures and ideals have been removed and altered in the United States and abroad. Despite the increasing acceptance of removing offensive or culturally insensitive monuments, a practice commonly referred to as “iconoclasm,” there has been little consensus on what to do with spaces where statues or monuments have been taken down.

This thesis examines both the role of monuments in this new era of post-colonial and racial consciousness by looking at monuments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After reviewing the debates surrounding the removal of controversial statues and memorials, the thesis will focus on various monuments in the state which have been taken down, or have been the center of campaigns calling for their removal. The thesis then concludes by suggesting four design strategies to replace and alter these spaces in order to better honor the history and citizens of Massachusetts and to reflect a more equitable future.


First Advisor

Steven Schreiber

Second Advisor

Ann Marshall

Available for download on Sunday, May 26, 2024