Africville Park: Site Interpretation

Design Concept & Graphic Layouts / Artwork (In-house with WeatherstonBruer Associates)

Africville was a small community of predominantly Black residents in Halifax’s north end. Founded in the mid 1800s, it thrived despite infrastructural neglect from the city, only to be razed to make way for city-led industrial development in 1964. The racist and violent removal of the community was a shameful chapter in Halifax’s history that rankles to this day. While there have been several initiatives over time spearheaded to honour the site’s history, such as programming and a museum, the site at large — now known as Africville Park — lacked interpretation.

A design team (WeatherstonBruer Associates) and interpretive team (Lord Cultural Resources) were contracted to provide an interpretive plan, a conceptual design, and final designs / artwork for production.

The project was collaboratively led by the Africville Heritage Trust and Africville Genealogy Society with the Halifax Regional Municipality Dept. of Parks and Recreation. The consultative process determined that the interpretive markers needed to be distinctive, resilient, and artistic, balancing storytelling with commemoration. The final design approach pairs double-sided, bilingual interpretive panels with large corten steel artworks, which take as inspiration the photography and theme of the marker.

The interpretive text, the graphic motifs, the shape of the panels, and the rendering of the steel artwork were carefully conceptualized and designed with the intention of honouring the distinctive features of Africville, both lost and enduring: the lives of the former residents, the structures of the buildings that were destroyed, and the sprit of the community that persists to this day.

Learn more about Africville: Africville Heritage Trust
 © Meredith Sadler 2024. No reuse of any content without permission.