FORT MCNAIR, Washington, D.C. -- Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall announces its quarterly Public Open Houses 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of the second month of each quarter. 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 calendar year, the months of the scheduled open houses are February, May, August and November. The next Grant Hall Public Open Houses are May 5, Aug. 4 and Nov. 3 in 2018. Open house hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During a 2009-2012 renovation of Grant Hall, which was originally part of Washington's Federal Penitentiary from 1829 to 1868, 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. Guests without a Department of Defense (DoD), Federal or AIE (Automated Installation Entry) ID are asked to register to attend.
REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE
Please go to the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Facebook Events Page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/jbmhh/events/ and access the Grant Hall Open House site. Click on the "find tickets" tab to access the reservation site.
If your computer server does not allow you to access the registration site, please email your reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full names of all attendees are required, as well as a valid telephone and email contact.
PLEASE BE ADVISED
● 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.
● 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.
● No back packs or large bags are allowed inside Grant Hall.
● 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.
ACCESS TO FORT MCNAIR
● Visitors must enter Fort McNair through the 2nd Street Gate, located just south of the intersection of 2nd Street and P Street in Southwest Washington, D.C.
● Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall has implemented increased access control measures at all its gates. To enter Fort McNair for the Grant Hall Public Open House, please be advised of:
1. 100% Vehicle Searches -- except for DoD, Federal and AIE (Automated Installation Entry) ID card holders
2. 100% ID and Background Checks -- all persons 18 years of age and older (without a DoD, Federal or AIE ID) must have a legal photo ID and will be vetted through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC-III) background check system; this process may take 15-20 minutes.
3. Visitors may save time at the gate by filling out the Request for Installation Access form in advance at https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/465241.pdf; Complete items 1-15 (it is important to note on item 15 that you are attending the Grant Hall Public Open House). Print all five pages and bring the completed form the day of the event.
4. Visitors have the option of vetting in advance by going to Fort McNair's Visitor Control Center (Building 65 as you enter the 2nd Street Gate) on Tuesdays or Thursdays, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.; or by filling out the Request for Installation Access form online and sending it via encrypted email to email@example.com
● Vehicle parking is limited to the parking lot next to the tennis courts and in designated parking spaces along 3rd Avenue.
DIRECTIONS TO PARKING AND GRANT HALL
After clearing security at Fort McNair's 2nd Street Gate, turn right at the first stop sign. Lincoln Hall is on the left. Continue to the next stop sign and turn left on 5th Avenue. Turn right on C Street. Go past 4th Avenue to the parking lot (next to the tennis courts). You may park there. Upon exiting your vehicle, walk to 3rd Avenue (on the east side of the tennis courts) and turn left. A historical marker on the Lincoln assassination trial is on the left. Grant Hall is on the left past the tennis courts.
● Visitors arriving on foot must travel the same route as vehicles to get to Grant Hall. After clearing security at the 2nd Street Gate, turn right at the first stop sign. Continue to the next stop sign and turn left on 5th Avenue. Turn right on C Street, go past 4th Avenue, then right on 3rd Avenue. A historical marker on the Lincoln assassination trial is on the left. Grant Hall is on the left past the tennis courts.
● Please be advised that sidewalks are not available the entire route from the gate security check point to Grant Hall, so pedestrians may have to walk on grass or on streets at times to reach Grant Hall by foot.
For those entering the installation on bicycles, please know there are no bicycle racks by Grant Hall. There are bicycle racks next to Lincoln Hall and by the Fort McNair Fitness Center. It is recommended that bicyclists bring the appropriate items to secure their bicycles.
● Photography is allowed of the exterior of Grant Hall, the historical marker and the courtroom.
● Cameras are allowed in the courtroom, but no backpacks or large camera bags.
● Photography is not allowed of any of the residences on the installation or the access control point at the gate.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
● Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbmhh for the most up-to-date information on base access and possible closures due to inclement weather or when mission dictates.
● Call Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public Affairs at 703-696-3283 during normal business hours if you have any questions.