WJE 50 Years
for the Performing Arts
Inves t i gat i on and Preser vat i on/Rehab i l i tat i on Des i gn
After several years of intensive public use without major capital improvements, many elements and systems of the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts had deteriorated or become obsolete. By the mid-1990s, problems had developed with roofing, terrace waterproofing, marble paving and cladding,
and outdated building systems. WJE was engaged to investigate and design improvements including repair of the building envelope, expansion of the
parking garages, and landscaping of the site. WJE also directed modernization of all building systems and restoration of the theaters, concert halls, and
other interior spaces.
For more than fourteen years, WJE led a multidisciplinary team of consulting firms on this project, providing administrative as well as
technical services in a wide range of disciplines to achieve the comprehensive preservation and rehabilitation of this national landmark.
All services were performed on an occupied and highly active and visible performing arts center.
Notes of Interest
• President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, were
strong advocates of the arts, and played an active role
laying the groundwork for what would become the
National Endowment for the Arts. “I am certain that after
the dust of centuries has passed over our cities,”President
Kennedy once said, “we, too, will be remembered not for
our victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our
contribution to the human spirit.”
• The Grand Foyer, at sixty feet high and 630 feet long,
is one of the largest rooms in the world. If laid on its side,
theWashington Monument would fit in this room with
seventy-five feet to spare.
• The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is one of
the nation’s leading performing arts venues, with more
than 3,000 performances that play before nearly two
million patrons each year.