Monumental Moves
Image Courtesy Eisenhower Memorial Commission
A model of the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, as designed by Frank Gehry. Gilbane Building Co. of Laurel, Md., is overseeing design and construction management of the memorial.

The ongoing effort to memorialize significant figures in U.S. history and honor the country’s diverse cultural traditions along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is ushering in several large design and construction projects in the coming years.

Next year, crews expect to complete the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on a 4-acre plot along the Tidal Basin. The scope of work includes 340 structural piles, a 2,350-cu-ft granite inscription wall weighing 194 tons, 47,000 sq ft of granite paving, a 30-ft Stone of Hope/Mountain of Despair sculpture and extensive landscaping.

The project is being built by a design-build joint venture team comprised of McKissack & McKissack of Washington, Turner Construction Co. of Arlington, Va., Turner subsidiary Tompkins Builders of Washington, and the Gilford Corp. of Beltsville, Md.

The Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation and the design-build team made diversity on the project a top priority. Both McKissack & McKissack and Gilford are minority-owned businesses. Other minority- and women-owned firms have been subcontracted as well. As of June, the project team reported it had reached 56% MWBE participation on the construction portion of the job.

In March, The Eisenhower Memorial Commission unanimously selected a design by Frank Gehry for the upcoming Eisenhower Memorial. The U.S. General Services Administration is the project owner. The Laurel, Md., office of Gilbane Building Co. is overseeing design and construction management of the memorial.

The four-acre site at the base of Capitol Hill will feature a grove of oak trees, columns along the north and south edges of the site, and tapestries of woven stainless steel mesh supported on a colonnade of limestone that depict images of Eisenhower’s life.

Work also is ramping up on the upcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture. The $500-million project will be built on a prominent spot near the base of the Washington Monument on the Mall. A partnership of Freelon Adjaye Bond and SmithGroup is designing the museum. Construction is expected to begin in 2012.

On the horizon, early planning is underway for the National Museum of the American Latino. In February, almost $1 million in contracts were awarded to four firms with expertise in public engagement, governance, collections and programs and site assessment. Wallace Roberts & Todd of Philadelphia is conducting analysis of site options and building programming alternatives for the potential museum. The Commission on the National Museum of the American Latino was established by Congress and convened for the first time in September 2009. A report on the proposed project is scheduled to be filed to Congress in September 2010.