The long-planned 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center is delayed another year and is now hoping for a 2026 opening.
The $100 million education center is set to be located within the soon-to-be expanded Arlington National Cemetery and along Columbia Pike, which is being realigned to accommodate the cemetery’s expansion.
That has also moved the education center’s timeline back about a year, executive director Jim Laychak told ARLnow. The aim is now to start construction on the education center in 2024 with a hoped-for opening in 2026 — 25 years after the terror attacks.
“That [realignment and expansion] project frames the site for the future visitors’ center, so we are dependent on that and its timeline,” Laychak said.
In terms of design, the plans for the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center haven’t changed much since last year. There have been some adjustments to the exterior, said Laychak, but those are still under review.
The education center will feature a modern design with exhibits on the first floor, “interactive biographies” of those who died at the Pentagon on 9/11, a second-floor conference room with views, a rooftop terrace, and ample parking.
Laychak, who also oversaw the building of the Pentagon Memorial, says this project is being funded in much the same way as the memorial — a combination of public and private funds.
The education center has raised about $14 million in private donations so far, an increase of about $9 million since this time last year. That includes a $2.5 million donation from Amazon.
The project still needs another $85 million though, Laychak said. The hope is to receive about $70 million from the federal government.
The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center, much like the memorial, is a deeply personal project for Laychak. His brother Dave was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11. This weekend will mark the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attack and his brother’s death.
“All of them are [tough],” Laychak said last year about the 20th anniversary. “One is not any more or less meaningful than the other, though you start to realize how much life has gone on without Dave.”
He’ll be in attendance at the Pentagon Memorial again this year for a small service for family members and invited guests.
The memorial and education center are important reminders, Laychak said, of a tragic day that changed history and defined a generation that fought the wars that followed. For such a pivotal moment in history, however, it’s notable that newer generations have not had the same searing memories of that fateful day.
Laychak briefly told a story about how he was leading a school tour at the memorial a few years ago and many of the kids didn’t know the details of what had happened at the Pentagon on 9/11.
“We need to remember those stories and remember what happened, especially these days with social media and all of the misinformation, conspiracy theories,” said Laychak. “We are going to get [the education center] done. It’s a project we believe in.”
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Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
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