The National World War II Memorial was built at the Rainbow Pool site on the central axis of the National Mall. The Rainbow Pool is located at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. The Second World War is the only 20th century event commemorated on the Mall’s central axis.
When Congress authorized the memorial in 1993, it placed the project under the direction of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government. ABMC engaged the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide project management and contracting services to support the establishment and construction of the memorial. GSA competitively selected the Gilbane Building Company to provide construction management services for the project
The general contractor of the construction project was the joint venture of Tompkins Builders and Grunley-Walsh Construction. Together, the firms have 135 years of experience on award-winning federal projects in and around the District of Columbia. Construction and renovation projects they participated in collectively include the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the White House, and the U.S. Capitol Building.
New England Stone Industries, the overall granite sub-contractor, fabricated the stone pillars and vertical walls at its plants in Smithfield and Quonset Point, R.I. The pavilions were fabricated by Rock of Ages at Barre, Vt. North Carolina Granite Corporation fabricated the plaza and pool stone at Mount Airy, N.C.Bronze casting of Kaskey’s sculpture was done at Laran Bronze, Inc. of Chester, Pa., and Stewart Springs/Valley Bronze of Joseph, Ore.
Site preparation work began on Aug. 27, 2001 and construction began in September 2001. The memorial was opened to the public on April 29, 2004 and dedicated on May 29, 2004.