The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts project was put on a fast-track schedule. It consisted of two new 3-story parking garage structures. These structures were expansions of the existing parking garages (consisting of approximately 350 exterior parking spaces) on the north and sound ends of the Kennedy Center. The finished expansions added approximately 601 interior parking spaces and 350 exterior parking spaces.


Specialized Engineering was responsible for providing onsite Environmental Consulting Services consisting of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Phase 2 ESA. As a result of the firm’s assessments, coal tar remnants were discovered in the soil dude to past uses of the site. Several hundred years earlier, oils and fuels were developed onsite that were used to light many lamps around the District. This was the apparent source of contaminates. Due to the discovery of contaminated soils onsite, Specialized Engineering developed a remediation plan and provided the monitoring and documentation during the removal of the contaminated soils.

Specialized Engineering provided subsurface investigations, design study of marine retaining structures, and foundation investigation and design with caissons placed directly adjacent to the Potomac River. The high water level conditions and serious environmental concerns required Specialized Engineering’s engineers and geologists to carefully monitor each caisson for proper bearing and hazardous air, soil, and water conditions. The water constantly being pumped out was tested, treated, and removed from the site under the supervision of Specialized Engineering staff.

Material Testing and Inspection Services provided on the following materials during each phase of construction:

  • Foundation Soil Bearing
  • Structural Fill
  • Utility Backfill
  • Concrete Reinforcement
  • Cast-In-Place Concrete
  • Structural Masonry (Mortar/Grout)
  • Structural Steel Welded & Bolted Connections
  • Wall Panels
  • Spray Fire-Resistant Materials

Specialized Engineering conducted laboratory testing and analysis of proposed fill/backfill/aggregate materials, concrete cylinders, mortar, grout, water, and fireproofing density samples, in addition to, verification of material quality in the firm’s AASHTO-accredited laboratories as per the project’s quality control program. Wish to learn more about our involvement with this project? Please contact us at 800-773-3808.