Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Philip Johnson was commissioned to bring the vision of Thanks-Giving Square to life. The Square is set fifteen feet below ground level with a four-foot wall blocking the sight of automobiles to create a serene, green island. At the western end of Thanks-Giving Square rises the bell tower where the processional experience begins. Walkways provide areas to sit and meditate.
Water plays a prominent role in the landscape, with active fountains masking city noise and leading visitors to the Center Court of Praise with its calm pools and Hall of Thanksgiving.
At the east end of Thanks-Giving Square stands the interfaith Chapel of Thanksgiving, a curving white structure symbolizing the ancient spiral of life and suggesting the infinite upward reach of the human spirit. A 100-foot-long bridge crosses the Great Fountain to arrive at the Chapel, which serves as a gathering place and a spiritual center for the daily life of the city.
Overt Religious symbolism is intentionally absent from the decoration of Thanks-Giving Square. Granite markers include references from Scripture, and the 100th Psalm is featured prominently in quotes and messages as delineated by Hindu, Jewish, Christian and Muslim authorities. Expressions of thanksgiving can be seen in mosaic, stained glass, engraving, and graphic art adorning the walls and windows throughout Thanks-Giving Square.