Eisenhower Memorial Commission
US General Services Administration
Construction Manager at Risk
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial transformed a four-acre site in Washington, DC into the first national presidential memorial of the 21st century. The Memorial, which recognizes Eisenhower’s contributions as the 34th President and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, was completed in time for the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and serves to honor the country’s 558,000 living World War II veterans, as well as remind visitors about every veteran’s service and sacrifice.
An onsite building houses a bookstore, National Park Service ranger contact station, public restrooms, and support facilities for the Memorial’s operation and maintenance.
A Monumental Design and Construction Task
Extensive landscaping and hardscaping with large, monumental-scale bronze statuaries and inscribed stone blocks establish the basis of the monument. A 450-foot-long, transparent, woven stainless steel tapestry illustrating a peacetime scene of the Normandy coastline stands out as a prominent feature.
The tapestry presented one of the most unique challenges of the project. It is anchored to six stone-clad, cast-in-place, 9-foot-diameter concrete mega columns covered in Spanish limestone that support the tapestries innovative structural cable-net system built to near-exact tolerances. Fabricated in five sections, each just less than 87 feet long and weighing approximately 56,000 pounds, the design called for exacting camber requirements of 1/4 inch.
The Memorial’s limestone elements required extensive quality control, oversight, and testing to ensure the stone’s suitability to the freeze/thaw environment. The Spanish Ambar Limestone was ultimately sourced from a mountain in Huescar, Spain, and fabricated near Alicante, Spain.
An extensive scaffolding system was designed and erected in sequence around each concrete column to install a total of 3,800 pieces of stone. Each piece of column stone was quarried, slabbed, cut via computerized numerical control methods to the appropriate radius, flamed, and quality checked for color and finish in Spain prior to being shipped to the jobsite. Upon arrival, the team blended the color tone of the stone and hoisted it to working level, where it was installed by workers standing on top of the columns while securely tied off with a safety system and in-man lifts. The entire tapestry system, made up of 604 separate artwork panels, had to be installed in the air as well, by free climbers hanging from the box beam and with boom lifts.
During landscaping of the site, the team used lasers to aid in the tree-planting process. Four 40-foot tall specimen trees were scanned on farms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, capturing the location of each branch, with the scans then used to determine the exact placement and orientation of each tree for re-planting on site.
2020 ABC of Metro Washington Excellence in Construction Award (Institutional)
2020 ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Project Award (Cultural/Worship)