After several months of coronavirus pandemic-related construction delays, the D.C. region’s newest free museum is set to open to the public on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
The National Museum of the United States Army is located in a publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Construction on the privately funded museum began in 2016. The 185,000-square-foot museum houses almost 1,400 artifacts throughout 11 galleries in the five-story building. The museum’s 84 acres also include a garden, amphitheater and a parade ground.
The National Museum of the U.S. Army is a joint project between the Army and the nonprofit Army Historical Foundation. The foundation constructed the building with privately raised funds, which as of June totaled $183 million of its $200 million goal.
The Army provided the land and $230 million for infrastructure, roads, utilities and exhibits.
It is the first and only museum dedicated to the entire history of the U.S. Army since its establishment in 1775. It expects to draw an estimated 750,000 visitors a year, though the coronavirus pandemic might hold back visitor numbers in its first year.
The museum was originally scheduled to open in June.
“The National Army Museum will be a place for members of the total Army family to gather and share their stories, while also creating an opportunity for visitors to connect with our nation’s history through the eyes and voices of individual soldiers,” said Ryan D. McCarthy, secretary of the Army.
The Army owns and operates the museum, and the foundation will manage its retail, catering and special events.
The museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, with free, timed-entry tickets required.
A video produced by the Army Historical Society about the new museum is below.