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December 2013
Keast & Hood Co. Designs Structure for George Washington’s War Tent Display

One of the centerpiece exhibits in the forthcoming Museum of the American Revolution will be George Washington’s marquee war tent (c. 1777), which served as his home and command center for eight years during the Revolutionary War.

Originally, the tent was erected with two main standards and encircling taut ropes through grommets to tension the tent’s roof membrane. Keast & Hood Co. was engaged by the American Revolution Center to work with a team of conservators, historians, and craftsmen to design an aluminum structure that supports the artifact without inducing stresses in the delicate original fabric. The umbrella-like structure provides adjustability to account for uncertainties in the tent’s dimensions while allowing it to drape naturally. A canvas sub-tent membrane stretched over the structure supports the artifact. The umbrella structure is invisible to viewers so that the tent imitates its original shape. The ropes that originally tensioned the tent are now purely aesthetic and representative of the earlier form.

The Museum of the American Revolution will be located at Third and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia and is projected to open in 2017. Keast & Hood Co. is also the structural engineer for the museum that was designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects. The replica tent shown in these photos was sewn by craftspeople from Colonial Williamsburg and used to test the tent structure.

Click below to read recent media coverage:

Lancaster Newspapers, 22 February 2014: George Washington slept here - really!

Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 December 2013: Recreating the wartime shelter of Washington

Philadelphia Business Journal: 3 December 2013: Museum to showcase George Washington’s War Tent

Associated Press: 1 April 2013: Washington’s wartime ‘oval office’ getting remade

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