SMPS DC Group photo Eisenhower 2019

22 Apr, 2019

Event Recap: Eisenhower Memorial Hard Hat Tour Recap

Janell Pagats

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Last week, a group of SMPS-ers toured the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial construction site located south of the National Mall on Independence Avenue SW. The four-acre site is being transformed into the first national presidential memorial of the 21st century and will recognize Eisenhower’s contributions to our nation as the 34th President and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. Sami Wallace, Assistant Superintendent from Clark Construction, led the tour.

This project began in October of 1999 with Congress creating the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, the first of several Congressional actions taken about this project. In 2007, the design competition was administered through the GSA’s Design Excellence Program who solicited and received design entries from fewer than 50 firms.

The design for the memorial will be framed by giant welded steel tapestries supported by columns 80-feet-tall by 10-feet-wide. The largest tapestry will extend nearly the entire city-block length of the Department of Education Building. This 450-foot-long transparent, woven metal tapestry will be supported by a cable net system and depicts an aerial view of the peacetime cliffs of Normandy Beach.

The construction site has several mock-ups of the various elements that make up the memorial to ensure that everything is to the architect’s liking. The mock-ups also allow Clark to practice means and methods so when it is time to construct the large features of the memorial they know what works best.

This project has a number of very unique aspects to it, including an extensive stormwater management system that allows for the site to reuse rainwater for irrigation and toilet flushing in the visitor’s center. Materials for the project are being procured, manufactured, polished, or grown all over the world, allowing the project team many opportunities to travel.

Construction on the memorial started in November of 2017 with the dedication of the monument anticipated for May 8, 2020, the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Eisenhower