A $6.8 million project to rehabilitate and preserve the visitor center at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland is coming this spring. Through this rehabilitation, the National Park Service will bring the almost 60-year-old facility into the 21st century to preserve the building and provide improved visitor services.
“Each year, thousands of people begin their visit to Antietam National Battlefield at this historic visitor center,” Superintendent Susan Trail said. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to an improved facility that is more sustainable and accessible, and that offers even more engaging and up-to-date educational opportunities to learn about the Civil War and the Battle of Antietam.”
The project at the visitor center will:
- Rehabilitate the visitor center’s interior and exterior.
- Expand the building’s visitor entrance.
- Increase accessibility with a new elevator and sidewalk reconfiguration.
- Install solar panels to increase efficiency and sustainability.
- Replace outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
- Share a broader story of the Battle of Antietam.
Starting in July, visitor services and educational exhibits will be available in a temporary building during construction. The park plans to reopen the visitor center in late 2022. The NPS completed the visitor center at Antietam National Battlefield in 1962 as part of the Mission 66 program. Mission 66 was an ambitious national program to modernize national parks across the country around the National Park Service’s 50th anniversary in 1966. The NPS and architect William Cramp Scheetz Jr. designed the visitor center at Antietam in the “Park Service Modern” style, and it’s a prime example of more than 100 NPS visitor centers constructed through Mission 66 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about the visitor center and how Mission 66 helped shape Antietam National Battlefield.
The visitor center project is part of a larger rehabilitation of the park’s infrastructure. Recently, the park completed a restoration of Burnside Bridge, which played a significant role in the Battle of Antietam. A project is currently underway to rehabilitate the walkways leading to the bridge and increase accessibility for all park visitors. The park is also completing a rehabilitation of a battlefield observation tower.