A newly renovated LSU Memorial Tower serves as reminder of those who made ‘the ultimate sacrifice’

This series about the 2021 American Institute of Architects Rose Awards
highlights award-winning architecture in Louisiana.

Jerry M. Campbell & Associates
Renovations to Memorial Tower at LSU

CATEGORY: Renovations and Additions

This exhibit is designed to tell the story of military history through the individual experiences of alumni, their leadership, contributions, sacrifices, and education. It will honor the veterans and celebrate their military service as well as service to their communities.

A focus on tradition will inspire and educate all who walk through the exhibit’s path of historical vision—a path that does not illustrate individual wars but celebrates these patriotic individuals who made the greatest sacrifice in the wars which secured freedom throughout the world.

We learn to appreciate the heart and emotional strength of these students/soldiers through the exhibits’ compass points of time, each exhibit component’s historical era viewed through the looking glass of a patriot’s story. This appreciation grows as each story unfolds and we realize that this is an important story. It is important to the community, to Louisiana, America, and the world!


“The museum is the repository for items reflecting military history and heritage of leaders since the inception
of the school. Their collections will be the focal point of the permanent exhibit. Exhibitions and collections
relate to military history, involvement of faculty, staff, and students in America’s wars and conflicts.”

The building has a classical aesthetic with its large spread base floor and strong columns to support the structure. The rising campanile serves as a beacon, informing the campus of the importance of this space. It is one of the earliest structures on the campus, with a familiarity that generations of students have become accustomed to.

Because of its historical and personal importance, it was imperative to stay true to the aesthetic of the original design. While aged portions of the building needed to be updated or replaced, the original look was maintained with all renovated portions.

To preserve the historic integrity of the exterior façade and provide adequate climate control, custom aluminum windows were designed and fabricated to match the original wood windows in both their configuration (upper hopper window/lower casement window) and their wood muntin/trim profiles. To protect the artifacts housed in the museum, all windows contain electrically-adjusted tinted glass with the ability to block up to 90% of sunlight and are controlled by exterior mounted light sensors.

Original bronze plaques can be found on the rotunda walls, bearing the names of those who gave their lives in, as one plaque states, “The Great War,” as it was constructed prior to WWII.

Stretch fabric acoustic wall panels were used throughout the building on both the ceilings and walls to provide low maintenance finishes, soften the spaces, and reduce reverberance. The original building was unconditioned, and its interior was finished in white plaster throughout.

Remnants of the building’s original plaster entablature were discovered and documented to guide in the design of a new wood entablature that would serve the buildings modern needs, while adding warmth to the space.

As with the attention to detail of the plaster entablature, the original drawings illustrated ornate details throughout the building—including white plaster pilasters between each window, ceiling medallions and wood pocket doors, to name a few. Each of these were meticulously reconstructed with white oak to honor the original design intent.

Museum exhibits were designed and installed in collaboration to blend with the design features of the building. All exhibits are movable with custom platforms to allow for flexible use of the spaces. Every aspect of the display areas were updated with discreet modern technologies, including whole building audio-visual capability, while maintaining the historic integrity.

Once again, the tower serves as a reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.