The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is a museum and visitor center for honoring the valor and sacrifice of Purple Heart Medal recipients. The United States Purple Heart Medal is given to military service women and men who courageously gave of themselves in conflict. The Hall of Honor records their stories and inspires those who visit to be in service of others. Sitting on the slope of Temple Hill in New Windsor, New York, the site where General George Washington established the Purple Heart—for valorous efforts during the American Revolution, the Hall of Honor is conceived as a modern temple integrated into the historic landscape. Inspired by the 18th-century rough-hewn log cabins set into the wooded hillside of Washington’s historic cantonment, the Hall of Honor is sited to announce its presence from the road with the historic cantonment as its background. A one-story arcuated portal addresses the visitors’ approach from the road and creates a civic monumentally appropriate within this delicate historic
landscape. A welcoming universally accessible promenade negotiates a steeply sloping site from parking and is lined with five granite benches dedicated to each branch of military service. Internally, all exhibit
and gathering spaces focus visitor views out to the landscape to connect them with General George
Washington’s cantonment. Externally, weathered steel panels provide a color and texture for the
museum that complement the deep russet colors of the historic log cabins that surround this sloping
wooded site, thereby feeling both a part of and distinguished from its historic context. Internally, an
enclosed court links the new addition to the existing structure. This enclosed court houses the Purple
Heart Roll of Honor, the place where veterans and their families can register medal recipients and any
visitor can search for any of the nearly two million recipients in the Roll of Honor database.
Programmatically, the Hall of Honor includes a welcome gallery, exhibit space, an orientation theater,
and a gift shop. Adjacent to the Roll of Honor is an exterior contemplative garden that houses an eternal flame, and an outdoor reflection terrace that overlooks the nearby Catskill Mountains.