November 11, 2020
Press Releases & News

Clark Celebrates Grand Opening of National Museum of the United States Army on Veterans Day 2020

The National Museum of the United States Army, built by Clark Construction and designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), opened its doors to the public on Veterans Day 2020. Located on a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the state-of-the-art museum features interactive exhibits, art galleries, and solemn spaces to celebrate and honor the service of the over 30 million men and women who have worn the U.S. Army uniform since 1775.

The new 188,000-square-foot museum is comprised of two adjoining buildings, a custom building and the exhibit wing. The custom building features the Experiential Learning Center (ELC), Veterans’ Hall, special exhibition gallery, main lobby, café, museum store, and offices. In the ELC, adults and children are invited to experience hands-on, educational and team-building activities in geography, science, technology, engineering and math, illustrating how these disciplines impact daily Army operations. The 60,000 square-foot, open-concept exhibit hall houses many of the museum’s historical exhibits.

Exhibit Hall

“Being able to play a part in building the first museum of the U.S. Army has had a tremendous impact on me personally,” said Gina Eaton, a project engineer at Clark and an Army veteran. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to dedicate your work to your friends and family who have served or have given their lives fighting for their country.”

Throughout construction, the Clark team was committed to ensuring that the museum featured quality workmanship befitting the history, dignity, and pride of the American soldier. The lobby floor features a 21-foot-diameter Department of the Army seal inlaid in a field of white terrazzo. The seal contains six different terrazzo colors that were custom-made to match the official seal. Above the lobby ceiling’s plaster soffits house decorative glass campaign streamers.

National Museum of the United State Army's Lobby

Additionally, the lobby’s black granite Donor Wall recognizes contributions by individuals and organizations in support of the museum. On the roof of the lobby, the museum’s Medal of Honor Garden serves as a reflective space, and features a Medal of Honor stone wall etched with the name of every U.S. Army recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Shirley Contracting, a road-building subsidiary of Clark Construction, completed site and infrastructure improvements for the museum project, including construction of service and access roads, asphalt paving, concrete curb and gutter, and an intersection and turn lanes on the Fairfax County Parkway at the entrance to the museum. Shirley also constructed a storm water management system, performed grading, and installed site security measures.

The National Museum of the United States Army is the latest project in Clark’s portfolio to enhance the cultural landscape of the Washington, DC region.  The museum’s opening closely follows the dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial in September of this year.  Clark’s local resume also includes the International Spy Museum, Museum of the Bible, and more than a dozen Smithsonian projects, including the National Museum of African American History & Culture.  Clark’s renovation of the National Air & Space Museum is currently underway, slated to be delivered in 2024.