Paralyzed Veterans of America presents the Barrier-Free America Award for Soldiers Memorial Military Museum’s new, exceptional accessibility

Post Date: May 29, 2019
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National search results in historic St. Louis landmark receiving prestigious award

Contact: Liz Deakin
Phone: 202-416-7627

The Barrier-Free America Award is presented annually by Paralyzed Veterans of America to recognize exceptional public-access buildings and architects that incorporate architectural design demonstrating the importance of equal access for all, especially those who are disabled.

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, an 81-year-old historical landmark, and its adjacent Court of Honor, was recently renovated to be universally accessible so all visitors can share the experience of these facilities together.

The $30-million, two-year renovation project led by Karen M. Goering, managing director of administration and operations at Missouri Historical Society, brought Soldiers Memorial and Court of Honor into ADA compliance and more. The design by Mackey Mitchell Architects sensitively preserves the building’s unique art deco detailing while adding accessible features such as a pathway across Chestnut Street to the Court of Honor.

Soldiers Memorial now includes ramps, elevators, tactile exhibits people in wheelchairs can explore, closed-caption videos and more.

The award ceremony will feature remarks, an award presentation and photo opportunities.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

Equal accessibility is important for everyone — from a parent pushing a stroller, to someone using a walker, to a paralyzed veteran in a wheelchair. There are 61 million Americans who report having a disability, and the majority of these are mobility-related. As the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double in the next 40 years, the need for accessible design solutions in both public and private spaces is expected to grow.

Karen M. Goering, Missouri Historical Society, Award Recipient
Erik Biggs, Mackey Mitchell Architects, Award Recipient
David Zurfluh, Paralyzed Veterans of America National President
Carl Blake, Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director
Mark Thompson, Paralyzed Veterans of America Senior Associate Director of Architecture
Stanley Brown, Gateway Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America President and National Director

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only veterans service organization with on-staff architects who provide design assistance to veterans, including wheelchair accessible home plans, free of charge. Paralyzed Veterans of America architects have also helped develop accessible building standards across the U.S., and have advised on the designs of many public buildings including the new Minnesota Vikings football stadium and the new addition to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, making them more accessible and enjoyable for the public. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Learn more at