The Kennedy Center


New York architect Edward Durell Stone designed the Kennedy Center, which opened in 1971. This living presidential memorial includes a theater, opera house, and concert hall, along with several smaller performance spaces, backstage and support areas, restaurants, public lobbies and galleries, a parking garage, and outdoor terraces. The building overlooks the Potomac River near the Lincoln Memorial.


Over a period of twelve years, WJE led a multidisciplinary team that assisted the Kennedy Center with assessing and addressing the issues of deterioration and obsolescence. Efforts began with a comprehensive investigation to determine existing conditions, deficiencies, and needed functional improvements. Priorities were established for building envelope repairs, life safety and egress, disabled accessibility, mechanical system improvements, memorial interpretation, and site circulation and parking. Following overall restoration planning and estimation of the related capital funding requirements, WJE designed repairs to exterior marble cladding, terrace paving, and roofing. Upgrades of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, fire and life safety systems, vertical transportation systems, and exterior lighting were also executed. Significant improvements to site and landscape features, including an expansion of the parking garages, capped off the restoration efforts.