Front of Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Restoring and updating a beautiful downtown monument

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum Revitalization
City of St. Louis & Missouri Historical Society
St. Louis, MO

As part of the design team, KAI provided MEP engineering services for the $12 million dollar renovation of the 60,000 SF, art deco Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis.

The overall work includes an exterior cleaning including the magnificent sculptures, as well as interior renovations to the exhibit spaces, the first level offices and the west steam tunnel. The lower level was refurbished for galleries, more than doubling the current exhibition areas. KAI utilized existing mechanical systems to provide redesigned overhead lighting and cooling systems. The Court of Honor that is across Chestnut from the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was also refurbished with the addition of fountains.

A museum-quality HVAC system was added, along with new interior storm windows to reduce sun exposure to the artifacts while allowing the original windows to remain in place. Updates brought the building up to ADA compliance, with the addition of a second elevator, bringing the current elevator up to code, adding a chair lift to the upper floor and more.

All work was performed with oversight from the St. Louis Historical Society because of the 1936 building’s historic significance, especially any work with the heating and cooling systems to ensure historical preservation.



Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Plumbing Engineering

The Impact

Becoming part of a dynamic downtown

One goal of the project was to make this beautiful but oft-forgotten monument more noticeable to visitors downtown. To do so, Chestnut Street was narrowed to a single vehicle lane with a bike lane. In the same area where President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his dedication speech of the memorial in 1936, a reflecting pool and fountain were put in that represent the five branches of the armed forces. A grassy area between the street and fountain can be used for programming or as a reflective space.

“We in America do not build monuments to war. We do not build monuments to conquest. We build monuments to commemorate the spirit of sacrifice in war — reminders of our desire for peace.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Speech at original Soldiers Memorial dedication in 1936

Project Recognition

St. Louis Business Journal Building St. Louis Awards 2019 Finalist Public/Private Project More Than $10 Million
LEED Gold Certified
Missouri Preservation Honor Awards, Preserve Missouri Award for Excellence in Historic Rehab