World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.
During the war's duration, places all across the nation had various roles in the prosecution of the war effort. After the war, memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US. Places and structures were named in honor of men, women, organizations, and even animals who served with distinction during the war. Libraries and museums were established to house the artifacts and documents related to the great war. Many of the facilities and structures that were important during the war have faded into obscurity, or are gone, but many remain.
Each of these places has a story to tell about the nation's struggle during World War One. This nationwide inventory during the Centennial Commemoration of the Great War seeks to identify, document, and preserve the knowledge of all these places.
You can submit information on a place that played a role during the war, or plays a role now in preserving the history of the nation's war effort. Click here to submit information about significant places that are not in the database, or to correct information about a place already recorded.
See here for more information on the country's World War One memorials and monuments, and efforts intended to raise public awareness of the presence, and in many cases, sadly, the plight of these historic monuments and memorials, or to submit a Monument or Memorial to the database.
311 6th St SW, Willmar, MN 56201
The Willmar Auditorium built by WPA is one of the most handsome auditoriums in Minnesota. It has two stories and a basement. In some sections of the building it has a third story. It was built at a cost of $160,000. The building has a concrete foundation, reinforced concrete slabs, steel roof trusses, and a wood roof. The walls are of brick with stone trim. The sculpture over the entrance was done by the Federal Art Project. The basement accommodates a band room, dressing rooms, showers, and mechanical equipment rooms. On the first floor are the auditorium, stage, and kitchen and war memorial room. The second floor has meeting rooms and a projection room.
PWA Moderne realized primarily through a pattern of contrasting stone
The Willmar War Memorial Auditorium features engraved stones from each state to honor Minnesota veterans. It was built between 1935 and 1938.
The Memorial Building is a two-story Neoclassical structure built of concrete in a pentagonal shape. The first floor is raised, providing light to the basement level. The two front facades are faced in grey terra cotta and coursed stone, while the remaining elevations are faced with brick. The heavy bronze door entrances are approached with wide granite steps and are flanked by Ionic columns. Above each entrance, clocks are inset into the terra cotta. A balustrade runs around the roof edge. Multipaned windows separated by pilasters and topped with arches run around the first floor, and rectangular windows with architrave trim are used on the second.
120 One Way Street
Hassell T. Hicks, architect
The Kimball World War Memorial was the first memorial built in the United States to honor African-American veterans of World War I. The Classical Revival style building designed by noted West Virginia architect Hassel T. Hicks of Welch was completed in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The War Memorial became the headquarters of the nation’s first all-black American Legion Post and hosted some of the state’s first NAACP meetings.
Unknown today by many Americans, over 400,000 African Americans volunteered to serve in combat during the Great War. 50,000 of these soldiers actually served overseas-one-third of the total U.S. fighting forces-and 1,500 of these came from McDowell County. While discriminatory military practices were still prevalent, when allowed to fight, these black soldiers did so with honor, demonstrating their valor in combat with French forces at the Battles of Argonne, Chateau Thierry, St. Mihies, Champagne, Vosges, and Metz, for which 171 were awarded the Croix de Guerre for “gallantry in action”. 1,300 were eventually commissioned as officers in the U.S. Military for their service during World War I.
The War Memorial was designed in the classical Greek style by Hassell T. Hicks, a noted Welch architect, also a World War I veteran, and was dedicated on February 11, 1928. Originally the building housed an auditorium with a small stage, a library, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, a billiard room and a trophy room, with displays of plaques dedicated to veterans, and wartime memorabilia. It was a multi-purpose facility, hosting such diverse activities as American Legion meetings, high school proms, wedding receptions, and performances by Cab Calloway and other well-known entertainers of the day.
Over time, deterioration, abandonment and finally a fire in 1991 crippled the beautiful structure, leaving only its exterior shell.
For over 30 years, a group of citizens had been pursuing the dream of restoring the Memorial to its former glory. With the financial and other support of many, the dream became a reality. The memorial was the recipient of a 2007 Honor Award presented to by the West Virginia Chapter of the America Institute of Architects and was also featured in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s forum as a Preservation Solution. The Memorial was also honored in 2006 with a Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award.
Presently, The Kimball World War Memorial was serves as a living community resource and is available for a wide variety of functions, including tours, training sessions, classes, organizational meetings, organizational dinners and receptions as well as social events.
The two-story, light-brick building stands on a sturdy cut-stone foundation. Its plan is a rectangular box with a small entrance vestibule on the east side. The facade faces south and displays a monumental classical portico centered in the middle. Four terra cotta columns stand on brick bases and support a tall terra cotta entablature. Laurel reliefs decorate the frieze section over each column. A band of dentils extends across the portico just under the cornice. Historic photographs of the building reveal a terra cotta extension over the entablature that held the words "World War Memorial". This section of the entablature has crumbled and no longer displays the building's name. A simple terra cotta parapet at the roofline flanks the centered portico and extends along the other two sides of the building.
Three pairs of door openings stand between the columns and open onto a shallow balcony, each separated by the columns' brick bases. The original doors were wood-framed, multipaned double doors with metal-framed transoms. On the second level centered over each doorway are tall, metal-framed multipaned windows in arched openings. flanking the portico are single multipaned windows on each level.
The Memorial Building's main entrance stands on the east side behind an entrance vestibule that has an arched opening. Concrete stairs with wrought iron railings ascend from the street level to the entrance. An arched window identical to the windows on the facade, is located directly above the entrance. The rear of the building holds two second-level doorways that open at ground level to the steep grade behind. The building's west side simply has a narrow chimney and two windows on each level.
310 N 4th Street
Ernest Moore Viquesney
Dedicated May 30, 1928. A goldfish pond that was once at the base is now filled in and planted with flowers. A machine gun was originally mounted on the raised part of the base between the two figures. Its disappearance has been the subject of news articles containing speculations about when it vanished. While it was missing in a 1997 picture that appeared in the Daily Miner, it was reported as being present at the time of a 1993 survey of outdoor sculptures.
Photo credit: https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=29398
Description credit: http://doughboysearcher.weebly.com/kingman-arizona.html
Front: (Names of 590 men are listed in 9 columns.)
6 Victory Blvd
May 28, 1938
ERECTED / IN MEMORY OF / JOSEPH H. LYONS / BORN NOV. 13, 1891 DIED
A GALLANT SOLDIER / IN THE WORLD WAR / 1917-1918/
A CIVIC MINDED CITIZEN / BELOVED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM / PRO PATRIA/
In memory of the Lost Battalion. Built A.D. 1938 by Work Projects Administration. George U. Harvey Borough President of Queens.
In memory of Matthew J. Buono, born June 28, 1942, died April 4, 1968. Please take a moment to remember Matthew. He and all of America's war dead gave their lives for their country, for freedom, and for you. Never forget.
Panel 2: Korean War
Panel 3: Vietnam War - Matthew J. Buono
Panel 4: World War I - [list of 6 names]
Panel 5: World War II - [list of 37 names]
This park honors the memory of Lieutenant Frank McConnell (1896-1918), the first Richmond Hill resident killed in World War I.
Plaque 1: Dedicated to the sons of Morris Park and vicinity who served in the world war 1917-1918 and in loving remembrance of the following men who made the supreme sacrifice (names of 70 war dead).
Plaque 2: With undying love and gratitude to give homage to all veterans of the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean Campaign, Vietnam Campaign, Lt. F.J. McConnell, Post 229 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
This monument commemorates the birth of U.S. Marine Corps Aviation. Under the leadership of Florida-born Captain Roy S. Geiger, also remembered here, who was the fifth Marine pilot, the “old Curtiss Flying Field” (as it was initially referred to in USMC documents) on the Miami River became the first Marine airbase, housing all four squadrons who are also memorialized by this monument on Curtiss Parkway. Bombing and strafing practice was done over the Miami River Canal and where the nearby Miami Springs Golf Course is today. The 135 Marines trained here served in France and the Azores during WWI.
This is the story I am telling:
Bounded by St. Clair, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Meridian Sts.
Walker & Weeks; Henry Hering
To commemorate the valor and sacrifice of the land, sea and air forces of the United States and all who rendered faithful and loyal service at home and overseas in the World War; to inculcate a true understanding and appreciation of the privileges of American citizenship; to inspire patriotism and respect for the laws to the end that peace may prevail, justice be administered, public order maintained and liberty perpetuated.
Probably the most used, lived on, and spoken of WWI memorial in Los Angeles...that very few are aware is a memorial.
As the LA Times article from 1924 trumpets "Victory Boulevard finds its name in a practical memorial to the soldiery of our country." This was a major thoroughfare in those early Valley days. It was even referred to as a "highway" and the LAT called other Victory memorial roads elsewhere "insignificant in comparison."
Victory boulevard begins in Glendale, CA and runs across the San Fernando Valley ending 22.5 miles later at the headland of a large park in Woodland Hills.
Naming roads and bridges after the war was not unique to our city. Streets termed "Avenue of the Allies", and thoroughfares named Pershing, or Foch are not uncommon across the USA. Like our Victory Boulevard, few remember the reason behind their designations.
North Carolina State University
2011 Hillsborough St
November 11, 1949
William Henry Deacy
The idea for a monument to honor NC State alumni killed in World War I originated with Vance Sykes, a member of the class of 1907. Today, the 115-foot monument, called "a legend in stone," is a symbol of the university and a rallying point for the campus community. Constructed at a cost of more than $150,000, the tower is made of 1,400 tons of granite set on a 700-ton concrete base. Its blending of Romanesque features and Gothic verticality are reminiscent of the towers at West Point.
Although 34 alumni died in the war, the memorial plaque contains 35 names. George L. Jeffers, class of 1913, was wrongly reported killed in action and his name was included by mistake. When the error was discovered, the university decided to alter the extra name beyond recognition. It was therefore changed to George E. Jefferson, a symbol of unknown soldiers from NC State and elsewhere.
Following the end of the Great World War, the citizens of the Ninth Ward of New Orleans erected a "Victory Arch." The carved stone arch, reminiscent of the ancient triumphal arches of the the Roman EMpire (such as the Arch of Titus), was originally located in the center of Macarty Square, bounded by Alvar, N.Rampart, Pauline, and Burgundy Streets. In 1951 it was moved to the edge of the squre near Burgundy Street, where it remains today.
Inscription: Erected A.D. 1919 by the people of this the Ninth Ward in honor of its citizens who were enlisted in combative service and in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice for the triumph of right over might in the Great World War.
Constructed between 1920 and 1923, the bridge was the first without toll to span the Piscataqua between Portsmouth and Kittery. The bridge was constructed as a joint venture between the states of Maine and New Hampshire and the federal government. It was dedicated as a World War I memorial.
Its plaque, above the entrance to the first truss span on the Portsmouth side, reads: Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who participated in the World War 1917-1919. Originally, the road over the bridge was part of New England Interstate Route, also known as the Altantic Highway. When the New England routes were superseded by the United States Numbered Highways in 1926 it was redesignated as US 1.
The bridge was reconstructed in 2010 as the original structure had become unsafe. It was rededicated in 2013 by former Portsmouth Mayor Eileen Foley, who cut the red ribbon 90 years after she performed the same honors for the original span in 1923.
An Honor Roll Monument to men from Louisville, Colorado who served in WWI, located in a local cemetery.
These elms were planted by
the Auxiliary of
Edwin H. Ewing Post No. 76
in honor of the men
of Mason County who served
in the World War of 1914-1918
Olathe Memorial Cemetary
Paulding, John, 1883-1935, sculptor. Olathe Monument Company, contractor. American Bronze Company, founder.
This bronze sculpture on a grey granite base is located in the southwest part of the Olathe Memorial Cemetery. He wears a military uniform with helmet and boots. His proper right hand is on his waist. In his proper left hand he holds the barrel of his gun, the butt of the gun rests on the base. He has a knapsack slung across his shoulder which rests on his proper left hip. The statue was dedicated on Memorial Day 1926 and was donated by American Legion Post 153 and by the parents of Earl Collier, the first Johnson County soldier killed in World War I. The American Legion Post in Olathe is named after Earl Collier.
Inscription: In Memory of World War Veterans.