Washington, D.C.

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) engaged Davis Buckley Architects and Planners (DBA) to offer their knowledge and experience with national memorials to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a Wheelchair Addition to the FDR Memorial. DBA assisted in crafting the legislation and was instrumental in passing the Public Law authorizing this addition. As the architectural and design consultant, the firm oversaw the creation of a new room, entitled Prologue, used to educate visitors about President Roosevelt’s dependence on a wheelchair during his presidency. The room emphasizes that physical disability does not preclude extraordinary accomplishment and contribution to society.


DBA also advised on Robert Graham’s statue of FDR in a wheelchair. A major goal was to provide universal accessibility to the sculpture, with its direct symbolic links – FDR served as president from a wheelchair. This was achieved by placing the statue on ground level, rather than on a pedestal, and uninhibited by blockages. This project is a vignette in the longstanding relationship between DBA and the National Organization on Disability, from the time President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.