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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Reopening of Historic Ord and Weitzel Gate

11/2/2022

ARLINGTON, VA—At noon on November 8, 2022, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of Ord and Weitzel Gate, the historic north entrance to the cemetery. ANC, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maverick Regan Construction, Lorton Stone, WSP and Speweik Preservation Consultants undertook an extensive multi-year effort to restore the gate and its signature columns, topped with elaborately sculpted urns.   

“The opening of the restored Ord and Weitzel Gate marks an important milestone in Arlington National Cemetery’s long-range plan to preserve our priceless monumental and architectural history,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director of the Office of Army Cemeteries and Army National Military Cemeteries. “Our historic gates are among the cemetery’s most unique and meaningful cultural resources, yet their stories often remain untold.”

In 1879, Maj. Gen. Montgomery Meigs (who directed the establishment of ANC as Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during the Civil War) oversaw and designed the Ord and Weitzel Gate. Meigs requested to reuse two columns from the War Department Building in Washington, D.C., completed in 1820 and demolished in 1879. The original gate featured elaborate ironwork and connected to the north boundary wall of the cemetery. In 1902, the names of prominent Civil War U.S. Army officers Gen. Edward O.C. Ord and Gen. Godfrey Weitzel were inscribed into the columns. However, due to the cemetery’s expansion and the advent of modern vehicles – many of which were wider than the gate’s original clearance – ANC disassembled the gate in 1979 and stored its components on cemetery grounds.

The complex restoration process involved salvaging and repairing Ord and Weitzel Gate’s magnificent columns, along with its decorative urns. The newly restored gate, accompanied by the addition of a guardhouse and improvements to the adjacent Custis Walk, offers a grand pedestrian entrance to the cemetery, as well as enhanced security.

“I can think of no better way to express our dedication to these most sacred sites of both remembrance and rejuvenation,” said Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent Charles R. Alexander, Jr.

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