Site Cameron, a small Gulf Coast town along the Creole Nature Trail in Western Louisiana.

Program Memorial for the more than 500 lives lost, in 1957, due to Hurricane Audrey.

Solution When Hurricane Audrey ripped across Cameron, La., in 1957, it left little in its wake—except the town’s courthouse and some firmly rooted oak trees. Now, over 50 years later, the board of directors for both the National Hurricane Museum and the Creole Nature Trail are proceeding with plans for a $4 million memorial to commemorate the more than 500 victims. The design for the Memorial at Cameron, National Hurricane Museum & Science Center, carried out by the Detroit office of SmithGroupJJR, calls for a bosque of 550 oak trees measuring a half-mile long and 400 feet wide. Toward the center, a grassy, circular opening will permit visitors to congregate, surrounded by oaks. Broken seashells cover pathways and recall the area’s relationship to the sea, which surged during the storm. “This … says to architects, you can think differently, you can think outside,” juror Cathy Simon said. With this project, the architects “talk about the weather … [and] about trees in a landscape. Those are all design to me.”

Project Credits

Memorial at Cameron, National Hurricane Museum & Science Center, Cameron, La.
Architect  SmithGroupJJR, Detroit—Kevin Shultis, AIA, Paul Urbanek, AIA, Jason Robinson, Carlos Lopes
Size  24 acres