CFA 17/JUL/14-4


Arlington National Cemetery
Patton Drive, Section 70
Arlington, VA
United States

U.S. Department of the Army
Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of Remembrance, new ossuary
Review Type


Dear Superintendent Lechner:

In its meeting of 17 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for the Tomb of Remembrance, an ossuary for interring the unidentified cremated partial remains of United States armed services members. The Commission approved the proposed location in Section 70 and supported the general concept for the ossuary, with recommendations concerning the character of the design as a new feature within the cemetery.

In their discussion, the Commission members noted the ambiguity of the design for the marker of this collective tomb, which recalls the headstone for an individual. They suggested clarifying the purpose of the ossuary by expressing the presence of the underground vessel on the ground plane, perhaps with a simple circle of marble. Likewise, they cautioned against treating the access shaft as the primary honorific element of the tomb as it may be subject to physical damage and required maintenance. In general, they recommended that the landscape design follow the formal simplicity of other collective burial elements within the cemetery, using an established design for the bench and eliminating low shrubbery in favor of trees that provide shade for visitors.

The Commission looks forward to the review of a revised concept design responding to these comments and encourages the project team to continue to consult with the Commission staff, which is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Jack E. Lechner, Jr., Superintendent
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA 22211–5003

cc: Kent Carson, Army National Cemeteries Program
Thomas G. Tingle, Guernsey Tingle Architects