• Rendering of Memorial Amphitheater.

Project Details

Description Defense
Civil Engineering
Structural Engineering
Regulatory Compliance Support
Assessment & Remediation
Urban Design & Public Spaces
Location Arlington National Cemetery, VA
Client USACE Norfolk District
Size 50,000 SF
Delivery Method Design-Bid-Build
Construction Value $8M


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Memorial Amphitheatre Historical Preservation, Arlington National Cemetery, VA

The Memorial Amphitheater is a highly visible and sacred site in the United States that serves honorary, ceremonial and operational functions. The amphitheater, which was dedicated in 1920, contains seating for approximately 5,000 people. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknowns’ dedication, RS&H provided field investigations and multi-discipline design services that detailed the areas throughout the Amphitheater, Reception Hall and the plaza that surrounds the Tomb of the Unknowns in order to identify the areas that need to be cleaned, repointed, preserved and to incorporate accessibility improvements and accommodations.

The design team investigated, assessed, and documented the conditions of the project that contained atmospheric soiling, biofilm and calcium carbonate, masonry and mortar defects and provided recommended actions for remediation. This project required close coordination with the USACE Norfolk District, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) and the National Park Service (NPS). The design team coordinated with each of the stakeholders when identifying how each component would be cleaned, repointed, and preserved. The project provided details and mapped where, how, and what type of procedure would be used for remediation of each component and location based on the field assessment and testing.

In 2014, ANC was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a historic district. Therefore, all work provided on this project was conducted under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and met the Secretary of the Interior’s Preservation Standards and Guidelines for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Given the significant nature of this work, the team worked collaboratively with ANC and all stakeholders to make this a successful project. The design team facilitated detailed review meetings to coordinate the technical approach for the cleaning and restoration and gave several presentations to communicate the design and receive input from the end-users. Our team supported ANC with a variety of options and project data to provide ANC with an awardable project that would give the Amphitheater the look they wanted and meet the timeline for the 100th Anniversary celebration.

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