Greetings. I hope this message finds you well.
The purpose of this message is to provide an update on our status concerning, 1) the renovation of the Memorial fountain, 2) the new Police Memorial Wall and 3) the Museum.
Before beginning, let me thank our many supporters and donors. I know I have not always been the best at communicating and thanking everyone for your support. My only excuse is I have put my energy into raising seed money, developing the architectural designs, seeking support between internal MPDC organizations, and working with the bureaucratic federal and DC governments to obtain necessary approvals. The latter has been most difficult. I am pleased to report we now have the necessary approvals.
I began this effort in 2011. I would never have guessed this process would have taken so long. I can assure you it has not been through any fault of ours. The good news is we can begin our fund-raising campaign in earnest.
Please check this website and our Facebook page for continued updates and donate whatever you can. We are especially appreciative of the many $1000.00 and $500.00 donations, however, all donations, regardless of the amount, help. Remember, we are a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization. Please scroll down to see donation information.
Please continue reading for our status and photo renderings of the conceptual design.
Early on, the effort to renovate the Memorial fountain was combined with building a new MPD Memorial Wall. The Department of General Services (DGS) offered a picturesque landsite on the lower plaza between the Henry J. Daly Building and the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse. We gladly accepted and within 3-months had paper in hand granting us authority to use that land. We hired the world-renowned Architectural Firm, M. Arthur Gensler, Inc., to design the memorial. This process was costly and took much longer than anticipated. We met with several DC Government (DCG) agencies and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). At the end of this four-year process, we had our design and estimated cost. We were ready to begin our fund-raising campaign. At the last minute we learned CFA had denied our design. We were surprised, given we had followed their instruction. Then we were summoned to a meeting by the head of DGS and a senior attorney from the Mayor’s Office. They informed us they had been called to the chambers of the Chief Judge for DC Court of Appeals who informed them he (The DC Courts) controlled the land given to us by DGS and he would not allow us to build the Police Memorial adjacent to the Courts. We considered fighting this, but quickly realized how difficult and costly that would be and in the long run we would lose. We were assured the Mayor was committed to providing us land for our projects and offered three other land sites. We chose the land in front of the Daly Building where the current Memorial fountain sits. That was in May 2016.
We could no longer use the architectural drawings from Gensler. Even though it would cost additional money, we knew we had to redesign our plans. We determined the need for a new architectural company and selected Beyer, Blinder, Belle (BBB) of New York, with offices in DC. They did the renovations for all the DC Court Houses, to include the on-going renovation of the Moultrie Courthouse. They have also done work for multiple other DC and federal government facilities in DC and throughout the USA. Several meetings were held with BBB, CFA and DCG Offices. BBB developed new conceptual drawings, we met with CFA several times and eventually the drawings were approved. That was huge. The plan includes the renovation of the fountain, the design of a beautiful new Memorial Wall, and the surrounding grounds in front of the Daly Building.
It has taken since May 2016 to October 2018 to get a new written agreement from the DCG allowing us to have the same agreement we had in 2011. The problem was finding the words to allow us to donate or give a newly renovated Memorial fountain and a new Police Memorial Wall to the city with no strings attached. We now have written agreements to renovate the Memorial fountain; build a new Police Memorial Wall; and DGS has included 3000 square feet of space in the plans for the renovation of the Henry J. Daly Building for a long overdue DC Police Department Museum.
The Commission of Fine Arts approved design is pictured below. The fountain remains in its original location. It will undergo a total renovation. A new circular walkway will be located behind the fountain with matching marble from the building for the curbs and the wall. As you approach the center of the wall, it slopes to a 45% so visitors can look down on the names and clearly read them without bending over or kneeling. This is similar to the 911 Memorial in New York.
In the center of the Memorial Wall there will be the MPDC Badge with a black mourning stripe with a thin blue line on the badge. The badge number will be the year MPDC was formed by an act of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by our founding father, President Abraham Lincoln, in 1861. Our motto, All Gave Some – Some Gave All, will circle the badge. The names of our fallen will be in columns starting from the top and extending down. Officers who died in even years will be displayed on one side of the badge, officers who died in odd years will be displayed on the other side.
It is estimated the cost will be between 3-5 million dollars. This is the amount we expected, and we believe this is in line with current day costs and what other police agencies have paid for similar memorials. Once again, we are a 501(c)(3) tax deductible organization and this is the time of year to make your donations to charity.
We urge everyone to remember:
“He was a husband, son, or brother;
she was a wife, daughter, or sister.
They were your co-workers and most importantly, they were your friends.
Please help so they are not forgotten.”
We currently have 121 fallen officers. There will be space for over 500 names. Certainly, a number we pray we shall never see.
We have our design. We have the cost estimates. Our next steps are to partner with a major marketing company and our business partners, city leaders, active and retired members of the department and most importantly the citizens of the city. We are confident that just as in 1918, when the business community and the citizens of the District of Columbia raised the necessary funds to build the existing memorial, they will rally behind us again and the department to renovate and build a new Memorial Wall and support the Museum to insure we do not lose our cherished history.
Since our birth, MPD has played significant roles in the history of our city, our country and the world. From Presidential Inaugurations, funerals, historic events, to the millions of people who came and continue to come to the city to demonstrate. The men and women of MPD have led the way in protecting Presidents, Heads of State, Kings and Queens, Official Guests of the United States, diplomats, public figures and most importantly, the residents of the city, the men and women who work in the city, and the thousands who come from around the world to visit. It is so important to make sure the history of the men and women of the MPD is not forgotten. To help, I urge you to hold onto any of your police memorabilia or artifacts you feel may have a significant role in our cherished history and could be displayed in our new museum when it opens.
We thank you for your patience and support.
Founder & President
D.C. Police Memorial & Museum, Inc.
A view looking east toward the US Capitol showing the sidewalk in front of 300 Indiana Avenue NW, where the Memorial fountain currently sits. Photo depicts a new circular sidewalk that starts close to the end of the building by the stairs leading to the lower plaza, circles around behind the fountain and comes out near the entrance to headquarters. The curbs and walls are the same color marble used on the building. The walkway leading behind the fountain is slightly raised from the sidewalk to behind the fountain and slopes back down on the opposite end.
A view looking at the fountain with the new Police Memorial Wall behind the fountain. Note the badge with a black mourning stripe and thin blue line and an inscription below the badge. Our motto of ALL GAVE SOME, SOME GAVE ALL surrounds the badge.
A view of the Memorial fountain and the Wall of Honor.
We welcome all donations. Many have donated $500.00 and $1000.00, but we are grateful for donations of any amount.
Mail a donation – For a pdf of this letter on letterhead which can be printed and mailed in with a donation by check, click here. Then, mail to:
DC Police Memorial and Museum
300 Indiana Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20001
HARD COPY OF THIS LETTER
For a pdf of this letter on letterhead which can be printed, click here.