The Kennedy Cenotaph.

Kennedy Assassination Cenotaph

Field review by the editors.

Dallas, Texas

This 30-foot-tall empty box, made of concrete slabs, was designed by big-deal architect Phillip Johnson, who called it an "open tomb." Visitors can walk through gaps in the walls and read an inscription to Kennedy on a block of granite in the enclosed courtyard. Johnson said that the design would provide visitors with a spot of quiet privacy. It has never been popular.

Dallas evidently felt guilty enough to about the assassination to allow this faux-grave to be built for JFK -- but not until over six years after he was dead. Even then, the city skimped on the Cenotaph walls (Johnson wanted marble) and substituted the cheap concrete.

Still, you can stand inside and listen to your own echoed cries of "Why? Why?"

The Cenotaph reminded us of another, similar, "open tomb" that is much smaller and older, and that shelters an inhabitant far more obscure than JFK. Maybe Phillip Johnson saw it when he was growing up in Ohio?

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Kennedy Assassination Cenotaph

Commerce St., Dallas, TX
On the western edge of downtown. On Market St. between Commerce and Main. I-35 exit 428E onto Commerce St., then drive east two blocks. The Cenotaph is on the left.
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