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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 02/17/2011

VFW gives $500,000 to U.S. Army museum

By Jacqueline Trescott

(Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP)

The plans to build the National Museum of the United States Army received a considerable boost Wednesday when the Veterans of Foreign Wars donated $500,000 to the museum.

The museum, which will be built at Fort Belvoir, Va., is scheduled to open in 2015. The VFW gift is slated for the museum's Veterans' Hall. The hall will be a central gathering place for veterans and their families, as well as an educational space and area for official functions.

The museum complex will have a main building with 175,000 square feet and an outdoor area, large enough for ceremonial parades.

The museum has a formidable task: honoring the millions of men and women, covering 14 generations, who have served in the U.S. Army. The museum plans a series of galleries to trace the history from 1775. The firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will design the building and Christopher Chadbourne & Associates will do the galleries and exhibits.

The Department of the Army donated the land and is underwriting the design and development. Once the museum is open, the army is also covering most of the annual operating expenses.

However the Army Historical Foundation has mounted a capital campaign to raise $200 million for the construction. To help this effort the foundation and the U.S. Mint have issued three 2011 Army Commemorative Coins. When the public orders these coins through the Mint, a surcharge in the price goes to the museum's campaign.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | February 17, 2011; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott, Museums  | Tags:  Ft. Belvoir, National Museum of the United States Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars, a national Army museum  
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