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Designing A New Memorial To Godfather Of Go-Go

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Marshall Moya Design is creating a new Chuck Brown Music Memorial to replace the old band shelter in northeast D.C.’s Langdon Park.
Rebecca Sheir
Marshall Moya Design is creating a new Chuck Brown Music Memorial to replace the old band shelter in northeast D.C.’s Langdon Park.

In May 2012, Washington, D.C. lost one of its musical icons in Chuck Brown, a man who's affectionately been referred to as the godfather of go-go.

The District is honoring Chuck Brown's musical legacy with a brand new memorial at Langdon Park in northeast D.C. The hope is to break ground this summer, and complete construction by fall.

Marshall Moya Design is the D.C.-based firm that's designing the Chuck Brown Music Memorial. Principal partner Michael Marshall says the memorial's site has special meaning for him, since he was born and raised not too far away.

"This is a park that I used when I was a kid growing up and attending Langdon Elementary School, a block away," he says. "So this is a great project for our firm. We won the [design] competition; we didn't get it because I grew up in the neighborhood! But still, that's a nice benefit for me personally on this project."

The Chuck Brown Music Memorial will consist of a state-of-the-art outdoor music pavilion, lined with cherry and magnolia trees: "I like to think of those as local D.C. landscaping trees," Marshall says.

The pavilion will resemble a Roman amphitheater, with seating capacity for 150 to 200 people. And on the back wall, says Marshall's partner Paola Moya, "they will have images of Chuck Brown from the beginning of his career to the end."

Images of Chuck Brown will also be on view in a 40-foot tower aside the pavilion. Inside the tower will be a chronological list of Chuck Brown's songs.

"So we also want it to be a learning environment for the kids here in the city," says Michael Marshall. "When they come here [they will] see that there is a Washingtonian who basically developed a genre of music that became international and known as Washington sound."


[Music: "Blow Your Whistle" by Chuck Brown from The Best of Chuck Brown / The Party Roll by Chuck Brown from We're About The Business]

Photos: Chuck Brown

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