City to Assume Responsibility for Completion of AIDS Monument

Illustration of the AIDS Monument (Daniel Tobin, designer)

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 Valenzuelaserved 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.

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Jason K
Jason K
15 days ago

I am full support of the monument but I am confused why it is going to cost so much 5 million dollars. That’s 15,000 dollars for each strand.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
16 days ago

I appreciate all the hard work that has brought us this far. The monument will insure we don’t forget an important chapter in the history of West Hollywood and help us remember a time when the community came together in love, compassion and sadness. AIDS took a generation of potential leaders and activists from our our community and I believe we would have developed a far different and healthier political culture had we not been so busy fighting for our lives. The City wanted a grand monument but you can’t fault the people who volunteered and worked diligently toward the… Read more »

JF1
JF1
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

You don’t need to spend millions more that you don’t have to create a nice memorial. That’s ridiculous….especially when we have tons of homeless sleeping on our streets.

Scott
Scott
16 days ago

If they raised $2.43M for the project, that’s what they should spend. And they should find someone who can complete this in less than a year.

JF1
JF1
16 days ago
Reply to  Scott

Yup.

JF1
JF1
17 days ago

The residents of WeHo just approved to have their taxes raised…so the City will have plenty of $$.

Last edited 17 days ago by JF1
David
David
16 days ago
Reply to  JF1

Yes, approved to raise city sales tax by 69% all at once, adding $11 million (from $16 million). I don’t think people who voted for the Proposition ever really read it or did the math. Who gets a salary increase of 69%!?!?

JF1
JF1
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Either they didn’t read it are they failed math. The more of our hard earned money they take from us in taxes, the more they find a way to spend it…and then ask for more. Prior to the approved increase, the City Council was sure to give themselves a raise. And now they are wasting tons of money on a new study related to gay pride. As “woke” as people are in this city, they need to wake up!

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