Washington, D.C.

project size

55,000 SF


Museum Design


Sustainable Design

Envrionmentally Sensitive Site

New Facility

Research Facility

Section 106

The National Law Enforcement Museum serves as an accompaniment to the DBA designed National Law Enforcement Memorial and is located at the south end of historic Judiciary Square.  Prior to beginning the schematic design for the museum, a thorough study of Judiciary Square’s history and context was prepared.  The information was synthesized in an Urban Design Analysis that established guidelines for the design of the museum with respect to the elements of the immediate environments.  Once completed, the museum, along with the memorial, will form a 21st century context for George Hadley’s 1820 Old DC City Hall, now part of the Courthouse Complex of Judiciary Square.   


In order to minimize intrusion on the surrounding square, the bulk of the museum is below grade with two glass entrance pavilions in the forecourt of the Old City Hall.  These strong and elegant pavilions respectfully respond to the heavier mass of the historic streetscape while standing apart to create a strong, contemporary image for the museum. 


Upon entering the museum, visitors descend from the pavilions to a ticketing and service area.  This mezzanine floor overlooks 18,000 s.f. exhibit space which includes a 2,350 s.f. rotating exhibit gallery, and an enclosed area known as the Hall of Remembrance which relates the museum back to the accompanying National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.  In addition, the museum houses a café, gift shop, a theater, and a Research and Archives Center.


The museum is currently pursuing LEED® Silver certification.  Due to the historic nature of the site, the museum received schematic design approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capitol Planning Commission, the Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the DC Preservation Review Board.  An additional Environmental Assessment was prepared in compliance with the Section 106 Review. 


DBA has worked with the Owner’s project manager throughout the development of the project schedule and has met all established milestones.  The Owner’s contractor has updated the project budget at key design milestones and DBA has coordinated with them to keep the project on budget.  DBA has been responsible for coordinating the work of 13 consultants for the project.  Additionally, DBA has coordinated with the Owner’s independent peer reviewer and the National Park Service on document reviews and coordination.