The MacArthur Memorial is a fascinating tribute to the legendary five-star general, Douglas MacArthur. The three-building complex on a tree-lined square consists of a museum (formerly the Norfolk City Hall and Courthouse), a research center and a visitor center.
MacArthur was an American general most famous for commanding the Allied Forces in the Pacific during World War II and for overseeing the rebuilding of Japan after 1945. Toward the end of his life he donated his memorabilia and papers to the city of Norfolk, his mother’s hometown.
Start your visit by exploring the museum’s galleries. They house permanent and temporary exhibits that cover the general’s extensive military career and those of people who served with him in both world wars and the Korean War.
View the general’s artifacts and personal objects such as medals, uniforms, a military cap, pipe, battle souvenirs and gifts presented to him during his time in Japan. The galleries circle a grand rotunda, the final resting place for the general and his wife, Jean. Their tombs are surrounded by banners, flags of his various commands and inscriptions of the battles he fought in.
On leaving the museum, follow the Heritage Walk to the Visitor Center. This paved walkway is constructed from memorial bricks honoring members of the armed forces.
Once inside the welcome center, head for the theater and watch the 22-minute high-definition documentary about MacArthur’s military career. It’s shown every half hour. View some of the historic vehicles including a World War II jeep and MacArthur’s limousine, the black Chrysler Crown Imperial that served as his staff car for nearly fifteen years.
Situated in downtown Norfolk, the memorial is directly across the road from MacArthur Square metro station. Free car parking for three hours is available at the south deck of the MacArthur Mall garage.
The MacArthur Memorial is open every day except Monday.