By Leah Rubalcaba, JBM-HH Community RelationsOctober 15, 2015
FORT MCNAIR, Washington, D.C. -- Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall announces its next quarterly Public Open House of Grant Hall's historic third-floor courtroom, located on the Fort McNair side of the Joint Base in southwest Washington D.C., from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. The courtroom is the site of the military tribunal, held from May through June 1865, of those thought responsible for the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
During a 2009-2012 renovation of Grant Hall, which was originally part of Washington's Federal Penitentiary from 1826 to 1881, the third floor of the building was restored to depict the courtroom as it appeared during the 1865 trial. Courtroom features were recreated based on artistic renderings and written descriptions of court proceedings. Some furnishings and artifacts on display are on loan from the production company of a 2011 historical film about the trial, and other artifacts and documentation are from the National Defense University Library.
Members of the public are invited to the Public Open House, which is free to attend. Please be advised, however, that the third floor courtroom is only accessible by walking up two flights of stairs. Due to the historical nature of the structure, the building has no elevator.
Additionally, the Fire Marshal has limited the number of people allowed in the courtroom at one time, so entry will be regulated to adhere to those numbers.
Large groups of 20 or more and those arriving in buses are asked to call the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs in advance at 703-696-3283 in order to schedule a tour time for the day of the Public Open House. Individual reservations are not required.
Also, due to the very small size and historical nature of the building, there are no public restrooms available inside Grant Hall. Public restrooms will be available to visitors at the Fort McNair Officers Club and at the Fort McNair Fitness Center.
FUTURE OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE
Grant Hall Public Open Houses are held quarterly on the first Saturday of the second month of each quarter. During a calendar year, those months are February, May, August and November. The dates in 2016 for Grant Hall Public Open Houses are: Feb. 6 (weather depending -- will close for snow, so check JBM-HH Facebook), May 7, Aug. 6 and Nov. 5. Open House hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information, to include base access and parking information and a site map, go to www.army.mil/JBMHH and click on the Grant Hall link under "Hot Topics" on the right side of the webpage. Closures due to weather will be updated on JBM-HH's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jbmhh. For additional information, call Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs at 703-696-3283.