After being closed for two years for a major $30 million renovation, the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and Court of Honor in downtown St. Louis reopened in time for Veteran’s Day 2018, which was also the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War 1.
The vast renovation included more than doubling the Memorial’s exhibit space, with workers digging 18 inches from the basement floor and turning the lower-level space into galleries. Geotechnology, Inc., was part of the team that renovated this grand monument, having performed construction materials testing and inspections throughout the project.
“We are grateful for all U.S. service members who protect our country and our freedoms, and proud to be part of this renovation,” said Geotechnology Central Region Manager Joel Weinhold. “This memorial pays tribute to them, and the enhancements will help to educate more people about their sacrifices.”
Working with BSI Constructors and Mackey Mitchell Architects, Geotechnology performed hazardous materials surveys to identify potential hazards such as asbestos, lead, and mold, and also conducted special inspections, construction observation and materials testing services related to soil, concrete, masonry, footings, reinforcing steel, and sprayed insulation thickness.
Built to honor 1,075 St. Louis-area soldiers who died in World War I, the memorial was originally financed by a 1923 bond issue that provided $6 million to clear seven city blocks for the plaza and structure. The memorial was completed as a works project of the Great Depression and dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. It opened to the public on Memorial Day 1938. The Court of Honor was established across the street from Soldiers Memorial in the 1940s to memorialize the St. Louisans who lost their lives during World War II.
The Missouri Historical Society assumed operation of Soldiers Memorial in 2015, paving the way for this multimillion-dollar renovation that not only doubled the exhibit space, but also improved accessibility, and aided artifact preservation by adding a museum-quality HVAC system and interior storm windows. The Court of Honor was updated to include a reflecting pool and fountains that represent the five branches of the military. New monuments extend along the walkway between the Court of Honor and Soldiers Memorial to memorialize local service members who have fallen in the conflicts since World War II.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum offers both long-term continuing exhibits as well as short-term special exhibits. The exhibits reflect a commitment to exploring the stories of local military service members, veterans, and their families. Admission to Soldiers Memorial and its continuing and special exhibits is free.
Established more than 30 years ago, Geotechnology, Inc. is a professional corporation offering a comprehensive range of consulting services in applied earth and environmental sciences, including geophysics, water resource management, geotechnical and environmental engineering, materials testing and drilling. Geotechnology has provided expertise on thousands of major construction projects in the Midwest and Mid-South regions. Geotechnology is ranked #406 in ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms in 2018. Geotechnology, Inc. is based in St. Louis, Mo., and has 10 offices in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. For more information, visit www.geotechnology.com