Since January 2006, six teams of architecture students from Julie Rogers’ sophomore studio and Valerian Miranda’s senior studio have worked with the Museum of the American G.I. in College Station, creating conceptual models for a new museum facility and developing a master plan the museum’s 40-acre site.
The Museum of the American G.I. is a nonprofit living history museum dedicated to preserving military equipment, uniforms, vehicles and the memories of American soldiers. It was founded in 2001 by Brent Mullins, museum president, and several other individuals with an interest military history.
Last May, Miranda’s students presented their preliminary drawings and museum models for review at the Sanders Corps Center on the Texas A&M campus. Attending the unveiling were Brent Mullins, president of the Museum of the American G.I., and members of the museum’s board of directors, benefactors, university officials and officers in the Corps of Cadets.
The students’ plans, Miranda said, have helped museum officials acquire the superstructure of the USS Iwo Jima, a Vietnam era aircraft carrier, which has been dismantled and is being moved to the museum site at 1303 Cherokee Drive, south of College Station off Highway 6, for restoration and re-assembly with Miranda’s assistance. Additionally, studies by College of Architecture students working under the direction of Center for Heritage Conservation fellows Richard Burt, David Woodcock and Valerian Miranda, have encouraged museum officials to explore the possibility of acquiring World War II era wooden buildings that can be moved and reconstructed at the museum site.
Though the museum has not yet constructed a permanent facility, its collection of war vehicles can be viewed with an appointment at the museum site, located at 1303 Cherokee Drive, off the Highway 6 southwest frontage road, approximately .25 miles south of Santa’s Wonderland.
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