Award of Merit: Historic Category
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial Rehabilitation
Submitted by The Armbruster Company
U.S. Department of the Interior
The Armbruster Company
HSU Development Company
Virginia Concrete Company
The United States Marine Corps Memorial stands as a symbol of our nation’s high regard for the honored dead of the Marine Corps. Although the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives since 1775.
After 50 years of exposure to the elements, the Memorial’s materials were beginning to exhibit deterioration. Differential settlement and cracking had occurred in the plaza and walkways. Previous repairs did not successfully match the historic concrete material or quality. Rehabilitation of the plaza, reviewing stand, and walkways included replacement of deteriorated areas of concrete paving, installation of new ADA accessible ramps, and walkways.
All work was carried out according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The field examination and laboratory analyses of the concrete identified the types of deterioration, probable causes, and options for repairs. Five cycles of samples and mock-ups were produced to develop the final concrete mixtures for the project.
Historic elements of the memorial plaza and reviewing stand were repaired with concrete mixtures that exactly match the original materials. This required very costly hand-screening of the dark gray diabase and white quartz aggregate. A concrete mixture made with readily available gradations of dark gray diabase aggregate was chosen for those areas where complete replacement was required; the finished results are very similar to the original material.