Class of 1948 Memorial Gate

8 February, 2006

 Dear Classmates:


            It is my sad duty to inform you that the Class of 1948 Memorial Gate, as we built it, is scheduled for removal.  It has become the victim of the war of survival in which this country is now engaged   In January of 2002 I was informed of a plan to re-design Gate One to conform to DOD directives concerning base security.  At that time, I was told that the Class’s representative, me, would be kept reasonably updated on the plans and that the Class would be given some opportunity to have an input in the resolution of the new design.  Unfortunately no such involvement was allowed.


            Approximately two months ago, I was informed by an Academy Foundation staff email that the new gate design had been completed, submitted to the superintendent, and given FINAL approval. The new design will include two pedestrian gates that will originate on Prince George St. and Randall St. respectively.   If you are not familiar with these two streets, they are as follows.  Randall St. is the one, which goes from Gate 1 to the market in downtown Annapolis.  Prince George St. is the one, which runs behind the Field House, parallel to King George St., which runs parallel to the Academy wall and ends at Gate 1.  The existing outside wall at Gate 1, the one we attached the wording, “United States Naval Academy” to, will remain and one pedestrian gate will be located in this wall about 200 feet from Gate 1 entrance.  The second pedestrian gate is just around the corner on Prince George Street.  Gate 1 will be for vehicles only.


            The two pedestrian entrances will be served by brick walkways, which will meet at an apex within the new gate design.  Three of the ’48 Gate plazas will be relocated at the apex of the two walks.  The dedication pedestal with the bronze plaque containing the words “We come from all parts of the nation.  we enter these gates to learn, we go forth to serve” will be located in the central plaza.  The fourth plaza found in our original design will not exist in the new design.  The actual number of our benches that will be used in the three plazas is not known at this time. I have had the opportunity to make suggestions to the Department of Public Works at the Academy as to how I would prefer they be relocated.  I do not have any assurance regarding my suggestions.  I have mainly asked that they not jam the three plazas with all seventeen benches.


            I deeply regret that it was not possible to salvage more or our original design.  I think every classmate had hoped that our gate would be a lasting tribute to the ingenuity and generosity of ’48.  One plus is that the two large swinging gates,’48 rebuilt, will remain on the vehicle gate as will the two Academy crests that Bill Wagner created and placed on the two gates back in 1986.


            At this point there is little to do except wait until all construction is completed and see the results.


                                                             Phil Rogers