McKinney York Architects created a a state-of-the-art gallery dedicated to the life and military career of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. Design inspiration stems from a confluence of the Admiral’s naval prestige and local roots. The renovated lobby serves as a welcoming and wayfinding space for visitors with a hospitality-style desk, large pendants, and tongue & groove wood ceiling that recall the building’s origin as a family-run hotel. At the gallery entry, a top-heavy metal portal leans toward you like a docked ship. A custom flooring pattern transitions guests from the dark exhibit space to the light ballroom, highlighting the historic mosaic tile from the original hotel lobby now leading to support spaces. The timeless material palette connects with the town’s Main Street vernacular, while clean detailing and careful execution elevate these humble materials to create a space that comfortably hosts a variety of visitors and events, from Wranglers to Dress Whites.

Museum/Cultural Institution

Admiral Nimitz Museum at the National Museum of the Pacific War

Fredericksburg