O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” a large red, white and blue banner? “Whose broad stripes and bright stars ... were so gallantly streaming!” over the star-shaped Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814. The valiant defence of the fort by 1,000 dedicated Americans inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” To commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the event, the NPS refurbished the Fort and created new Visitor Center with exhibits, physical interactives and multimedia to explore the iconic American symbol and anthem.

The client and NPS wanted an engaging, contemporary immersive experience at Fort McHenry – the birthplace of the American national anthem - that encourages an emotional response to the Anthem, to the story behind the poem and the events of the War of 1812. Included in the site-wide refurbishments, a new Visitor Center was designed by Baltimore architects GWWO to provide visitors with orientation and interpretation so their subsequent tour of the Fort and site is enriched and enjoyable.

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