The primary inspiration for the design of the new visitor center at Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine comes from our nation’s most enduring symbol—the Star-Spangled Banner. The two curved walls of the building reflect the dynamic nature of the flag, while the juxtaposition of the walls—clad in distinct materials—evokes the meanings behind the flag’s stripes.

The upward slope of the brick wall, as revealed by the receding zinc wall, directs the visitor’s eye toward the fort, creating a visual dialogue between the fort and visitor center. Inside, a light-filled lobby serves as the central organizing element, directing visitors to the immersive exhibit/theater area, where the experience culminates with a breathtaking framed view of the fort with flag flying overhead.

"Parapet Pride" – by Christina Breda Antoniades, Baltimore Magazine, March 2011 

"Fort McHenry opens new Visitor and Education Center" by Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun, March 3, 2011

"[The] new Fort McHenry Visitor Center is something to sing about." – Ed Gunts, Architecture Critic

"We are very, very lucky to work with [this] architecture firm ... This is an amazing thing for us. They understand this place." – Gay Vietzke, former Superintendent, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine


  • Immersive exhibit and theater experience
  • Gift shop, multipurpose room, offices
  • Utilized surplus handmade clay bricks manufactured for restoration of the historic Fort
  • LEED Gold Certified