Final Design Approved for Education Center at The Wall

Taken from Official VVMF press release, written by Heidi Zimmerman.

AXO View

Rendering by Ralph Appelbaum Associates


VVMF has received final design approval today from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for the Education Center at The Wall. After nine years of hearings and design modifications, this is the final step in the building and design approval process and puts VVMF in the position of being “shovel-ready” to build the Education Center at The Wall.

Rendering of the "Coming Home" exhibit of the Center.

Rendering of the “Coming Home” exhibit of the Center by Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of VVMF says “Nine years of effort to get this approved says a lot about how difficult this project is. Now all we need is the money to complete the effort. The Center will honor America’s legacy of service from 1776 through today.”

Sectional View of the Center.

Sectional View of the Center by Ralph Appelbaum Associates

In 2006, CFA approved the site location, which will be on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial.  At that time, the authorizing legislation for the Education Center stipulated that the facility would be constructed underground. After the site approval, CFA developed design guidelines for the Education Center itself, with the intent to minimize visual obstructions to other historically significant sites on the National Mall, while welcoming visitors and supplementing the experience of The Wall.  In its guidelines, CFA staff recognized the significance of the Education Center, and acknowledged the challenge of designing an underground facility on the National Mall. In 2012, they approved the building and site plans for the Education Center at The Wall.

Rendering of "Making the Names Visible" exhibit.

Rendering of “Making the Names Visible” exhibit by Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Throughout the process, VVMF’s architectural firm, Ennead Architects, LLP incorporated CFA’s design concepts, guidelines and revisions into modifications to the original plans for the Education Center at The Wall to secure today’s final approval.  “We are incredibly pleased that the commission granted us this approval and we greatly appreciate the staff working with us to get us to this point. We look forward to seeing the Center through the final stages as we move onward to construction,” said Thomas Wong, partner and design principal of Ennead Architects. About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. The Education Center at The Wall will be a place on our National Mall where our military heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With plans to begin construction in 2016, the Center is a technologically-innovative learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials.

Rendering of the "Legacy of Service" exhibit.

Rendering of the “Legacy of Service” exhibit by Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Visitors will better understand the profound impact that the Vietnam War and other wars had on their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall, and will include a special hourly tribute to the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Center will celebrate the legacy of service that links the heroes of America’s past to those still serving today. Learn more about the Education Center at The Wall by visiting

The projected date of completion for The Education Center at The Wall is 2019, and while we are shovel ready, the only thing keeping VVMF from building is the funding. VVMF still needs YOUR HELP to build this special place where service to our country is elevated and celebrated. For more information click here. You can see more renderings from the future Education Center here.