The first-ever Congressionally authorized National Law Enforcement Museum, scheduled to open in Washington, DC in 2011, received final approval Thursday from a key federal planning agency.
In a unanimous vote, the National Capital Planning Commission approved final site and building plans for the three-story, mostly underground museum, which will be located in the 400 block of E Street, NW, in the District's historic Judiciary Square. The site is adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, dedicated in 1991 as a tribute to officers killed in the line of duty.
"I applaud the commission's rigorous review of this project and am grateful that the commissioners have once again affirmed this museum's significance to the national capital region," said Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which is leading the effort to build the museum. "The commission's action is another step forward—a critically important step forward—in our quest to create a truly world-class museum dedicated to the law enforcement profession. The fact that this long-overdue museum will be located right here in our nation's capital, literally across the street from our world-class memorial, only makes this project all the more meaningful for our nation's law enforcement community and the public it serves," Floyd added.
The NCPC is the federal government's central planning agency for federal land and buildings in the national capital region, which includes the District of Columbia and surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia.
Thursday's vote followed the NCPC's approval in April 2007 of the Museum's concept design. In addition, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) in May voted unanimously to approve the final design of the museum. Approvals by both the NCPC and the CFA are required for the privately funded museum, which will be located on federal land.
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the National Law Enforcement Museum will be a 95,000-square-foot, mostly underground museum that will provide visitors with a comprehensive and compelling look at law enforcement in the United States. The museum will feature high-tech, interactive exhibitions, interesting historical and contemporary artifacts, a research center, and extensive educational programming.
The museum is designed by Davis Buckley Architects and Planners of Washington, DC, the firm that also designed the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The memorial now contains the names of 18,274 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The museum's exhibitions, which include four permanent galleries and one changing exhibitions gallery, are being designed by Christopher Chadbourne & Associates of Boston, whose work includes the Mount Vernon Museum and Education Center and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
The National Law Enforcement Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign; approximately $36 million has been raised to date from law enforcement organizations, corporations, foundations and individuals from across the country. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush serve as the national honorary co-chairs of the museum campaign, which is called a "Matter of Honor."
For more information about the museum, including a virtual tour, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.