A national debate has manifested itself in Philadelphia. How should we view our monuments? Arguments over the statue of former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo has brought the debate front and center in the city.
Some believe that it is a symbol of a man who governed with racism and bigotry. Others believe it honors a man who brought order to the streets of Philadelphia and looked out for the common man and the innocent.
In addition to Rizzo, we've also considered monuments to Confederate generals and whether they should continue to stand in today's America.
How do we want our monuments to represent us? Should they highlight our successes? Should they be depictions of the people we feel have done the best job of proving their value to society?
Or, should they be something completely different?
We want to know what you think. Share with us your idea(s) and/or design(s) for a monument that you believe represents our city today. Email your ideas, drawings or descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share the best ideas right here on the website and on Philly.com's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
Mural Arts Philadelphia is seeking to answer these questions with their project, Monument Lab. The public art and history project is taking place throughout Philadelphia on Wednesdays and Saturdays between September 13 and November 15.
Twenty artists will display public art throughout the city, trying to answer the question of what a monument for the current city of Philadelphia should be. Monument Lab's public programs will encourage people to share their ideas for a Philadelphia-centric monument.
Some of the suggestions they have already received include two large figures, each of multiple colors, dancing hand-in-hand in the heart of the city, as well as monuments that represent concepts and things such as education, growth, gentrification, and water.