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Tour: National Law Enforcement Museum

Designed by Davis Buckley Architects and Planners (DBA), the new National Law Enforcement Museum was dedicated in October 2018. This underground museum is located across from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, also designed by DBA and completed in 1991. The new Museum expands on the story of the Memorial which honors all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty through our nation’s history, as well as all those who have honorably served and those who currently serve.

Above grade, two glass pavilions provide access to the 55,000-square-foot museum. The height, square footage, and setbacks of these pavilions were limited by the public law that authorized the private museum to be built on federal land. Below grade, the museum features a visitor service mezzanine level overlooking an exhibition hall. Suspended over the hall is Eagle 1, the National Park Police helicopter used to rescue passengers of the Air Florida flight that crashed into the 14th Street Bridge in 1982.

Presented by: Davis Buckley, FAIA, Thomas Striegel, AIA, and Amanda Witkowski, AIA of Davis Buckley Architects and Planners (DBA) with Sarah Haggerty, Senior Director of Exhibits and Programs and Lori Sharpe Day, acting CEO of the National Law Enforcement Museum

Organized by: Davis Buckley Architects and Planners and National Law Enforcement Museum

Please Note: Meet at the center of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the relationship between the Memorial and Museum designs;
  • Explore the jurisdictional design approvals required to build a private museum on federal land in a historic setting;
  • Explain the decision to build the Museum below grade and the resulting design challenges; and
  • Discuss the importance and challenges of providing daylight into below grade public spaces.

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