|Location||1775 Liberty Drive, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States|
|Director||Tammy E. Call|
|Owner||United States Army|
The National Museum of the United States Army is planned as the official museum for the history of the United States Army and is under construction just outside Washington, DC. The objectives of the museum are to honor America's soldiers, preserve Army history, and educate the public about the Army's role in American history. The U.S. Army announced April 16, 2020 that the museum will delay its opening due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The National Museum is located on 84 acres at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. Ground was broken for the museum in September 2016, and it was scheduled to open on June 4, 2020. That opening has been delayed. Some of the gallery finishing work was suspended in response to COVID-19 which impacts the project timeline.
The main building will be approximately 185,000 square feet and display selections from the United States Army Center of Military History. Outside this facility will be a park with gardens and a parade ground. Space is being planned to accommodate ceremonies, reenactments, lectures, educational programs, and reunions.
Under a September 2000 agreement with the Department of the Army, the Army Historical Foundation (AHF) was designated the fundraising entity for the National Museum of the United States Army. The Army also established the National Museum of the United States Army Project Office to oversee the design and construction of the museum.
In September 2008, the army selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York as the design architect and Christopher Chadbourne & Associates of Boston as the exhibit design firm. In 2012, Eisterhold Associates, Inc., assumed the exhibit planning and Design and Production, Inc. began the exhibit fabrication. The U.S. Army will operate and maintain the museum when it opens and AHF will be responsible for all revenue-generating operations.
The National Museum of the United States Army describes its objectives as:
The centerpiece of the National Museum of the United States Army will be a major exhibition facility where the stories of soldiers will be joined with thousands of artifacts, documents, and images tracing the history of the United States Army through a series of chronological and thematic galleries.
In September 2008, the Army selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York as the design architect and Christopher Chadbourne & Associates of Boston as the exhibit design firm. In 2012, Eisterhold Associates Inc. assumed the exhibit planning and Design and Production, Inc. began the exhibit fabrication.
On 17 June 2011 the Department of Defense released a press release, stating:
The army announced today that the North Post of Fort Belvoir, Virginia., will be the site of the National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA), scheduled to open in June 2015. Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh approved the decision this week, which also marked the Army's 236th birthday. Initial construction will include a multi-story, main museum building with exhibit halls, theater, Veterans' Hall, food service and retail areas, administrative areas, an experiential learning center and a lobby with visitor reception area.
Fort Belvoir is spread over several locations, but the main base is in Fairfax County, Virginia and occupies the former "Belvoir" estate of William Fairfax. The post is bisected by US Route 1 ("Richmond Highway"): the area of Ft. Belvoir between US Route 1 and the Potomac River is the "South Post", while the area between US Route 1 and Telegraph Road is the "North Post". The site for the museum is on the North Post, along the Fairfax County Parkway at the intersection with Kingman Road. The address, 1775 Liberty Drive, is a nod to the year of the Army's founding.
Ft. Belvoir is about 20 miles south of Washington D.C., and 3 miles south of George Washington's historic Mount Vernon estate, which draws over one million visitors per year.