Frequently Asked Questions

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) is a new memorial and museum being built in Columbus, Ohio to honor veterans’ contributions to our free and safe society. NVMM will serve as a tribute to our veterans as well as a reminder to all of the importance and value of military service. More than simply a war memorial or a military museum, NVMM will share the stories and experiences of the men and women who have served their country, including those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.
The NVMM mission is to:

  • Honor Americans’ contributions through military service,
  • Connect civilians with veterans and their military experience,
  • Inspire visitors to serve their community and nation as citizens, and
  • Educate schoolchildren about the history and value of service via an interactive permanent exhibition.

Additionally, the space will host events for active duty and retired military members, including homecoming ceremonies, ROTC trainings and graduations, celebrations, and parades.

It is time for America to remember and to honor its veterans, regardless of branch of service or era of conflict or peace. It is time to give a voice to every man and woman who has served, every mother and father who has lost a son or daughter, and every child who has lost a parent. It is time for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. There isn’t a museum dedicated to the veteran’s experience.

NVMM will honor the contributions of our veterans, connect civilians and veterans, inspire service in communities, and educate about the value of service. NVMM shares the important role our service men and women have played in the history of the United States of America.

As we started talking to veterans through focus groups, we realized there was a bigger story to tell. Once we learned there wasn’t already a national museum dedicated to the veterans’ experience, we talked with stakeholders and veterans groups on the local, state and national level and decided to expand the scope. This museum will have the exclusive honor of sharing the journey of our country's veterans across all branches, eras and conflicts.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and surrounding Memorial Grove will occupy a seven-acre site in Downtown Columbus, Ohio. The NVMM will bring the concepts of honor and duty to life through interactive and educational exhibits, beautiful landscaping, and iconic architecture. The architecture includes a spiral processional rising to a rooftop sanctuary. It will also feature permanent and temporary exhibits, meeting rooms for veterans groups, a processional, and an entry court. Please visit the Gallery  to see renderings and construction photos.

The exhibit design firm of Ralph Appelbaum Associates is working to create an exhibition that presents a narrative journey evoking the core themes and stories of the veteran experience. The interpretive framework for the exhibits is based on four pillars: Honor, Connect, Inspire and Educate. The NVMM will honor historical and contemporary examples of veterans’ stories. Rather than focusing exclusively on war, combat, or the military, this exhibition narrative explores the transformative experience of military service while connecting it to the broader idea of public and community service. Further, it hopes to stimulate an ongoing dialogue in an effort to increase connections between civilians and veterans.

Please visit the Gallery  to see exhibit renderings.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum has a seven-acre footprint along West Broad Street in Downtown Columbus. The Museum’s riverfront location on the west bank of the Scioto River adjacent to the recently completed Scioto Greenways and across Broad Street from COSI make it ideally situated for visitors looking to spend an entire day experiencing some of Columbus’ cultural attractions. Parking will be available on the lot west of Belle Street.

Yes, three primary spaces will be available for veteran and armed services events. There will be flexible interior lobby space for larger events, a multi-purpose room on the lower level, and an outdoor rooftop sanctuary. The Project Team is working to ensure that the space may be used to host a variety of events, both for veterans and the general public, so that the National Veterans Memorial and Museum can fulfill its mission.

Building construction began in December 2015. A grand opening date is being planned for 2018.

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) is serving as Project Manager for the design and construction. CDDC is the private, non-profit development organization charged with redeveloping the Scioto Peninsula, on which NVMM is located. Once completed, ownership will be transferred to a new 501(c)(3) organization specifically created to manage the ongoing operations of NVMM. CDDC is responsible for the completion of city-changing projects such as Columbus CommonsThe Scioto Mile, and the Scioto Greenways.

To assist in the design and construction of this cultural landmark, CDDC has engaged the following firms, each of which is best-in-class in its respective field: 

  • Allied Works Architecture, based in Portland, Oregon and New York City, has designed an architecturally significant and symbolic building that tells the story of the veteran experience before visitors even walk through its doors. Recently, Allied Works designed the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver.
  • OLIN is an award-winning landscape architect based in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Its portfolio includes spaces around throughout the world including U.S. Embassies in London and Berlin, the gardens at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Battery Park City and Bryant Park in New York City, and the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
  • Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) is the world's largest museum exhibition design firm with five offices worldwide. RAA creates award-winning museum exhibitions, visitor centers, and educational environments that explore natural history, physical sciences, cultural, social, and corporate history, sports, brand heritage, and the fine arts. Founded in 1978 by Ralph Appelbaum, the firm has created more than 500 projects that are visited by over 50 million people each year. 
  • Turner Construction Company is a construction services company who has had a strong presence in Central Ohio for over 50 years. The company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering innovation, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for its clients, employees, and community. Turner is proud to be an active recruiter of men and women transitioning out of the military. 

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) is serving as Project Manager for the design and construction. CDDC is the private, non-profit development organization charged with redeveloping the Scioto Peninsula, on which the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) is located. Once  NVMM is completed, ownership will be transferred to a new 501(c)(3) organization, which is in the process of being created.

Soon, there will be volunteer and financial giving opportunities available. Please email CDDC and let us know how you want to get involved.

A great deal of consideration was given to how the building and site, including the Memorial Grove, will be accessed and used by ALL visitors. CDDC, as the project manager, took this issue very seriously, and worked with the building architects and landscape architects so that the museum experience from start to finish will be ADA accessible. We are excited to welcome visitors to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum when it opens in 2018.

Our landscape architect, Olin, recommended American Elm trees for the Memorial Grove. This was not only a symbolic gesture to the historic significance of this tree, but also an opportunity to reintroduce this magnificent tree back into the American landscape.

Because of their high canopies and small leaf size this tree species provides a dappled shade, which allows enough sunlight to sustain the turf grasses growing beneath. The caliper size (thickness of the trunk) of our trees ranges from 3.5” to 8”, so visitors will get to experience large trees when the museum opens.

Before disease struck, Elm Trees lined the streets of American cities and towns with their majestic canopies. In the 1930s, Dutch Elm Disease began to wreak havoc on America’s giants, systematically removing them from the landscape.  The disease was named not for its origins, but for the pioneering team of female scientists from the Netherlands, whose findings paved the way to halt its path of destruction.  Their works, almost 100 years ago, launched a process that has led to the cultivation of the disease-resistant strains planted at the National Veterans Memorial & Museum.

In 2004, J. Frank Schmidt  & Son Co., a wholesale tree nursery, initiated a project in cooperation with land grant universities to identify Elm varieties that were immune to Dutch Elm Disease.  The best performing trees have been the Princeton, Accolade, Pioneer and Triumph, the very same trees selected to stand guard at the National Veterans Memorial & Museum. 

Appropriately, variants such as the Princeton Elm were developed from trees growing at Princeton Battlefield. The battlefield was the sight of a turning point in the Revolutionary War, and an American victory. Even at the high point of disease outbreak in the 20th century, the Princeton Elms never fell, and stand proudly today.