Marine Barracks Washington Restoration

Unites States Navy | Washington Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.

The oldest continually active post in the United States, Marine Barracks, Washington is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The historic Building 9, designed by Hornblower & Marshall and constructed between 1903 and 1907, showcases the John Phillip Sousa Hall, where most of the major performances and ceremonies of the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps (“The Commandants Own”) have taken place for over a century. The building required historic restoration to stabilize and improve the existing facility while providing new, energy efficient HVAC, lighting and electrical systems and reducing building heat loss. The building has now been dedicated the Colonel Truman W. Crawford Hall, in honor of the longest-serving and most influential commanding officer and director of the D&B, who passed away in 2003.

As indicated in a Drum & Bugle Corps Press Release: “The dedication of Crawford Hall is the culmination of a five-year effort, starting with Gen. Michael Hagee, 33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps. While touring the Barracks in 2003, Hagee and his wife visited the attic of Building 8, where drummers were learning music on table tops. The unit was crammed into only 4000 square feet of space. The conditions were unacceptable for him, said Lt. Col. Brent Harrison, D&B commanding officer. “From that point on the weight of the Marine Corps was thrown into creating and establishing a place that we could actually call home and be very proud of,” added Harrison.

This important and successfully restored 29,500 SF building now provides 20,000 square feet for horn and drum rehearsal rooms, recording areas, training/classrooms, and a music library and archive. The Drum & Bugle Corps have a comfortable home that should serve them well over the decades ahead.

Project Highlights

  • National Register of Historic Places Registered Landmark
  • Submitted photographs, elevations, plans, descriptions, and finish selections for approval by National Capital Planning Commission and Commission of Fine Arts.
  • Teamed with acoustical and HVAC consultants to retrofit historic building with state-of-the-art acoustical strategies including High STC/Low NRC wall, floor and ceiling assemblies and minimization of noise in HVAC duct designs.
  • Restoration included flat and ornamental plaster repair, wood finish restoration, hardware preservation, paint restoration and replacement, structural framing repair andwood flooring repair and refinishing
  • Maximizes energy efficiency and life cycle of building HVAC systems, lighting systems and reduces energy loss
  • Maintaining budgetary controls and project momentum throughout costly substitution of contractor required strategic maneuvering and communications by Owner and design team.
  • NRHP Reference # 72001435

Project Details

Professional Expertise

Federal Government | Historic + Adaptive Reuse

Professional Services

Architecture | Interior Design | Planning + Programming

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  • Restored and improved:
    John Phillip Sousa Hall


Can you hear us now....?

John Phillip Sousa Hall has been the home indoor performance venue for the United States Drum & Bugle Corps since their formation in 1937. The recent project restored all the existing finishes and carefully inserted new lighting, electrical and HVAC systems into the existing space.

As a performance venue, special attention to detail was paid to the acoustical design of the space, with careful study and control of background noise from internal and external sources, and of acoustical reverberation characteristics within the space. The final result is a space much more comfortable and capable of showcasing the extraordinary musicianship of the “The Commandant’s Own”.