NORFOLK, Va. – In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 11 November 2021, The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a more than $6.3 million contract to clean, repoint, and provide universal access to the exterior of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) Memorial Amphitheater.
The project is one of several in a five-year program to clean, preserve, and improve the Amphitheater.
Four Tribes Construction, LLC, a tribally owned company based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, will be responsible for removing calcium carbonate deposits from the exterior of the Amphitheater as well as improving accessibility for disabled visitors who come to the more than 100-year-old structure.
Working on a 100-year-old structure of historic importance means special care must be taken to maintain the aesthetics and integrity of the building, which is one of the reasons why all work is being done in coordination with the United State Commission of Fine Arts and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
“Working on this project has afforded me the opportunity to become intimately acquainted with one of the most photographed structures in the National Capital Region. I have a greater understanding of architectural practices and the vision for the cemetery from a century ago. It is important that we maintain that vision while bringing the cemetery into the 21st Century,” said Alice Pool, Norfolk District project manager.
The contractor will be re-aligning the marble stones back into place and using a special mortar. Replicating the original mortar, this will make sure the work blends in and is in keeping with the overall look and feel of the Amphitheater. Accessibility improvements include adding in a wheel chair ramp, and making two boxes on the arcade level Architectural Barriers Act compliant for disabled patrons.
The contractor has a period of performance of 59 weeks from the date of aware and should have the project completed by mid-summer 2021.
“I am looking forward to working with a dedicated team of USACE and ANC employees and the contractor to bring this project to fruition in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” Pool adds.
Virtual visitation is available to the public through the Memorial Amphitheater 100th Anniversary online exhibit available at: www.ArlingtonCemetery.mil/Memorial-Amphitheater-100. The exhibit features original photographs depicting Memorial Amphitheater’s construction and evolution during the past century, along with interpretive text and a video, the exhibit will narrate the story of the building’s origins, design and ongoing preservation. Through the story of the Amphitheater, the exhibit explains how Americans have honored and remembered military service and sacrifice, from 1920 through today.
The Norfolk District’s mission is to provide innovative engineering solutions, in collaboration with our partners, to deliver water resources, military, interagency, environmental, and disaster response programs that make our communities, the commonwealth and the nation a better place to work and live.