Patriot Plaza at the Sarasota National Cemetery
Patriot Plaza is an amphitheater with world-class public art installations at the Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, FL. The mission of Patriot Plaza is to Honor Service, Inspire Patriotism, and Embrace Freedom. It is for those who have served in our United States military and their families, those who are serving, and those who will serve.
The creation of Patriot Plaza is the first time private philanthropy (The Patterson Foundation) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to enhance a national cemetery. Burials at Sarasota National Cemetery began in 2009. The Community Dedication of Patriot Plaza took place in June 2014 and tours began shortly after.
Sarasota National Cemetery is designed to serve as a place of peace and reflection for veterans’ families. The Patterson Foundation partnered with the Veterans Affairs and National Cemetery Administration to create the ceremonial amphitheater and art installations. The amphitheater provides seating for 2,800; art installations illustrate the service and sacrifice of America’s heroes and military families.
Patriot Plaza is a place for the living to honor and celebrate. The art installations tell stories. It showcases the military experience which is consistent through time and yet changing. Four artists were commissioned to create the art that honors and celebrates veterans and their families. This art collection is unique to national cemeteries — it introduces documentary photography for the first time. The words and images of veterans and their families will speak to future generations through this art in perpetuity.
Patriot Plaza’s design was honored in June 2016 at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gulf Coast Design Awards Gala. Patriot Plaza won the Juried and People’s Choice Spirit of Sarasota architecture awards in this local-level competition. Additionally, it was voted in July 2016 as one of the top three winning buildings recognized in the Florida Association of the AIA People’s Choice Competition, a state-level competition. Gary Hoyt, of Hoyt Architects in Sarasota, is the design architect.
Weekly Public Tours take place on Tuesdays at 10 am except for holidays. No reservations are required.