City of Lubbock - Lubbock Tornado Memorial

Lubbock, TX

About the project

The 1970 Lubbock Tornado Memorial at Lubbock National Bank Park (the Park) was designed by Architect Stephen Faulk, of MWM Architects, Inc., and is a 3D artistic representation of Dr. Tetsuya Theodore (Ted) Fujita’s historic map from the May 11th event. During the design team’s research process, Dr. Ted Fujita’s mapping of the two tornado paths popped up on Google, providing them with the inspiration behind the design. Two 18-ft black granite paneled walls, quarried in India, twist, and wind through the Park, following the paths of the two tornadoes. Absolute black granite demonstrates the fortitude and resilience of the community. The black granite wall reflecting the F-5 path is engraved with a description of the memorial, along with quotes from Lubbockites who were actually in the path of the F-5. The story of Lubbock's recovery is etched in the black granite F-1 wall. Brick pavers on the ground represent the 1970 Lubbock streets, which the walls traverse. A fountain constructed with Luna Pearl granite on the north side of the Park provides peacefulness and a place for reflection as it creates a cascading sound that might reflect the tornado’s roar, while also masking the traffic noise of vehicles traveling Avenue Q. An existing earthen knoll on the eastern half of the site is where a cottonwood tree that weathered the F-5 still stands. It has been landscaped with flowering ornamental trees, reflecting Lubbock’s rebirth. Four artistic lamp posts throughout the Park signify different parts of the tragic event, as well as add beauty to the green space and act as a barrier to the street. At the east end of the Memorial, a lone, broken utility pole stands, which is actual wreckage from that night. A school roundabout has also been built on the east side of the Park, allowing schoolchildren to visit the memorial safely. The memorial commemorates the victims of the tornado, honors the city leaders who responded and rebuilt Lubbock and educates future generations about this tragic event.


American Architecture Award | Lubbock Tornado Memorial

Project Overview


City of Lubbock

Project Delivery



MWM Architects

Project Details

New Construction