The country’s first National Veterans Memorial & Museum is taking shape on the western edge of downtown.
With construction about halfway through, I toured the site on Columbus’ Scioto Peninsula where the former Franklin County Veterans Memorial building stood until 2015.
Rising in its place - and recycling some concrete - is a $75 million, 50,000-square-foot tribute to all American military veterans.
See the slideshow for photos of the building, including the curved concrete-arch design that’s visible from both sides of the Scioto River.
The unique architecture is sure to impress but it makes for a difficult project.
“Workers are banging their heads on the wall because of the complexity,” said Nigel Carter, project manager for Turner Construction Co.
“Now they’re walking around with pride, having accomplished it,” said Guy Worley, CEO of Columbus Downtown Development Corp., which is leading the project.
The building will have 30,000 square feet of exhibit space and will be available for celebrations, veteran ceremonies and reunions.
A Memorial Grove to the north of the building will have hundreds of trees and a water feature, serving as a “natural sanctuary for reflection and remembrance.”
The memorial and museum is expected to open in the summer of 2018.
For an update on the fundraising process, click here.
CDDC shared the following details:
Joining CDDC and Turner in the project are Allied Works Architecture, Olin and Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Retired Air Force Colonel Thomas Moe, a Lancaster resident and member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, is assisting with veteran outreach.
The National Veterans Memorial & Museum is seen as one of several catalysts to redeveloping the city’s Scioto Peninsula and spurring investment in the East Franklinton neighborhood.
Elsewhere, work continues on the public park and underground garage next to COSI, and Worley said the bidding process for a $500 million mixed-use project on 21 acres west of the green space is proceeding as expected.
CDDC hopes to have a development team selected and under contract by September.
Evan Weese covers commercial real estate, economic development and finance for Columbus Business First.