National Japanese American Museum

Project Spotlight: National Japanese American Memorial

The National Japanese American Memorial is an unattended memorial in a park setting that is open to the public, 24/7, 365 days a year. E.C. Ernst’s greatest challenge for this project was to eliminate, as much as possible, any visible accessibility to power, lighting or controls. 

To accomplish this goal, E.C. Ernst performed the vast majority of the work below grade in vaults, including the light sources for the fiber optic lighting system. Many light heads were flush with the stone finish and others were just above the surface of the water in the pool, requiring precise lay-out and stub-ups in the rough slab to match precut holes in the stone. 

In addition, there were no straight wall lines in the memorial structure and ever changing radius lines added to the difficulty in providing an accurate layout.  To match the life expectancy of the stone, the conduit for the fiber optic cables was installed in stainless steel, adding another degree of complexity in the bending and threading process. Given E.C. Ernst’s experience and detailed approach on this project, visitors today have a very difficult time finding the memorial lighting during the day.  However, at night...they are welcomed with a very impressively sight.

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