National Medal of Honor Museum
Mount Pleasant, SC  First Look


Plans are moving forward on a nearly $100 million National Medal of Honor Museum to be built at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. The proposed 107,000-square-foot facility will include three buildings, according to details released by the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.

The museum’s entrance and lobby will be housed in a grass-topped land pavilion along with a 240-seat auditorium, a museum shop, curatorial and archival space, and administrative offices, the foundation said in a news release. The museum, which will be connected to the pavilion by a two-level pedestrian bridge, will include a 5,000-square-foot Hall of Valor that can be used for public and private events. There will also be a small cafe, eight permanent and two special exhibit galleries, along with 20,000 square feet of conference, meeting and classroom space.

Five galleries will form the museum’s pentagonal structure. The concrete and glass structure, tinted gray-blue to match the nearby USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, will be built on pylons so the museum will sit level with the carrier at about 128 feet above ground, according to the foundation. Another bridge will connect the museum to a 140-seat chapel that will overlook the harbor, the foundation said.

“Recipients wear the Medal of Honor for every man and woman who has served in America’s armed forces, many of whom never came home from the battlefield,” Medal of Honor recipient Patrick H. Brady said in a statement. “Our interest is not in a monument to ourselves, but rather a learning center that focuses on sending important messages to our youth about patriotism, leadership and courage.” Bob Wilburn, president and CEO of the museum foundation, said construction will likely start in the first quarter of 2016 and all three buildings should open in the first quarter of 2018.

The museum's preliminary budget is $98 million dollars, including site development, construction, parking, exhibit design and fabrication and fundraising and administrative costs. Wilburn said those estimates will likely change as the project progresses. So far, the foundation has raised about $14 million for the museum from individuals and foundations across the country, according to Wilburn, with most donors coming from California, New York, Chicago and Texas. The S.C. Legislature also agreed last year to contribute $1 million toward the museum, and lawmakers are debating another allocation this year.

Your support for this project is welcomed.  You may do so securely online via Patriots Point Foundation, an all volunteer 501c3 organization and specify "Medal of Honor Museum".  Patriots Point Foundation raises money for the Naval and Maritime Museum as well as the National Medal of Honor Museum.   Full disclosure: I maintain this website and am a board member on Patriots Point Foundation.

Boston-based Safdie Architects was chosen as the architect for the project, and Maryland-based Gallagher & Associates was hired for museum planning and design. Greenville-based McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, which has offices in Charleston, is supporting Safdie on the project. Moshe Safdie said the building and its contents must capture what makes the United States great. “This is a noble project set on a magnificent site,” Safdie said in a statement. “I hope the new museum will inspire visitors and future generations to go ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ in their lives. We selected some of the best designers in the world to create a state-of-the-art facility that will inspire current and future generations about the ideals of courage, integrity, patriotism, leadership and sacrifice,” Wilburn said.     Story excerpted from Charleston Regional Business Journal.

The following renderings by Safdie Architects

View from bridge

National Medal of Honor Museum as seen from above the Ravenel Bridge, Mount Pleasant, SC. The land pavilion (entrance and lobby) is to the left of the museum; the chapel to the right.

Aerial Entrance

The grass-topped land pavilion (entrance and lobby) for the National Medal of Honor Museum is shown in the foreground; the chapel is to the left of the new museum.

Aerial view

National Medal of Honor Museum with the USS Yorktown in the foreground.  The museum chapel is to the right.

Model 1

Aerial photo showing the National Medal of Honor Museum site.  The USS Yorktown is to the left; the Ravenel Bridge to the right.

Model 2

The National Medal of Honor Museum at night. The USS Yorktown is in the foreground and the Ravenel Bridge behind the museum. The star-shaped chapel can be seen directly in front of the museum building.


View from the pedestrian bridge. The grass-topped land pavilion, housing the museum entrance and lobby, is on the left. The National Medal of Honor Museum is on the right. The USS Yorktown can be seen in the background between the two buildings.

Interior 1

The Hall of Valor in the National Medal of Honor Museum, seen from the mezzanine-level exhibit galleries.

Interior 2

Inside the Hall of Valor in the National Medal of Honor Museum. The distinctive star of the Medal can be seen in the floor of the Hall of Valor, and in the Museum ceiling.

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