Irish Hunger Memorial

Remembering the Irish Potato Famine

The Irish Hunger Memorial is the only structure in New York City that pays homage to and recognizes the devastating effects of the Irish Potato Famine. Visitors can find the Memorial in Battery Park City.

The architects wanted the Memorial to resemble and represent a rural Irish landscape. Therefore, the Irish Hunger Memorial features key aspects of Irish life during the potato famine, such as a stone cottage, stone walls, and a potato field. The architects deliberately made the Memorial look abandoned to symbolize lack of access to land.

The Memorial measures a grand 96 feet by 160 feet. Brian Tolle, the chief architect behind the Irish Hunger Memorial, implanted stones from all 32 of Ireland’s counties into the structure. He also designed a band of text that wraps around the structure. The text features first-person accounts from the potato famine, as well as different contemporary reports on worldwide hunger.

Aside from serving as an artistic statement, the Memorial also dedicates itself to raising awareness of the potato famine. Between 1845 and 1852, the famine killed over one million Irish people.

Another interesting component of the structure is a cottage that has been completely reconstructed upon its incorporation. The cottage belonged to a family in the 1960s but became abandoned. Other members of the family then donated the cottage to the Memorial to pay homage to those who came to America from Ireland in search of better life.

All parts of the Irish Hunger Memorial hail from parts of Ireland. Tolle, along with other architects and landscape artists, imported natural vegetation and features from Ireland to create the structure.

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North End Ave & Vesey St, New York, NY 10280


(212) 267-9700


Take the 1, 2, or 3 subway lines to Chambers Street or take the E to the World Trade Center.

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