FORT LEE, Va. (April 29, 2010) – At some point this year, the old structure known as Mifflin Hall will be demolished.
But its memory will live on, literally brick by brick.
Larry Toler, deputy to the commanding general, Quartermaster School, said he is in the midst of a plan to secure a number of bricks from the structure that will be used to recognize employees and military members for their impact on the career field.
“They (the bricks) are not for general distribution,” he said, noting many employees have requested them as mementos. “They’re to recognize time spent (by those who worked) in Mifflin Hall and to recognize accomplishments and contributions to the Quartermaster Corps.”
Toler said the bricks, which have been numbered, will first be awarded to dignitaries. The remaining bricks will go to distinguished employees.
“We’ve set bricks 1-5 aside,” he said. “We’re going to look at our history and see if there are some former quartermaster generals or other employees of note who should receive them.”
So far, bricks No. 6, 7 and 8 have been awarded. Six went to the former quartermaster historian, Dr. Steve Anders; No.7 was sent to Col. Al Davis, the Quartermaster School’s retiring assistant commandant; and No. 8 was awarded to Larry Constantine, director, Directorate of Public Works, who retires at the end of the month.
Toler didn’t say how many bricks will be awarded; however, Team Lee will have a limited opportunity to own a piece of history. About two pallets worth may be purchased through the Quartermaster Foundation, the non-profit entity that funds the Quartermaster Museum.
“People aren’t exactly shut out from getting a brick from Mifflin Hall,” said Toler, who noted the foundation will use the bricks for fundraising but wasn’t sure what the bricks might cost.
The idea to award the bricks came from Toler, who said he wanted to “remember the building and recognize the long careers of people who worked there.” Toler said he spoke with Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, commanding general, QMS, and they agreed on a plan to award the bricks based on the sentiment employees and Soldiers felt about the building.
“It was very emotional for us leaving Mifflin Hall,” said Toler. “For ‘us’ I mean the quartermaster people who had resided there for years. We saw that as the home of the Quartermaster Corps.”
Mifflin Hall was built in 1961 and served mostly as a training facility until 1973, when it became the QMS headquarters. Many Civilians and military members have either trained or worked there, some their entire careers.
Toler said the love affair between those who have trained or worked at Mifflin Hall and the building itself is best exemplified in the photographs taken on the building’s steps.
“We’ve taken so many famous pictures on the steps of the building during our,” he said. “Almost all of our warrant officer classes, NCO classes, and every officer class had their pictures taken on the steps of Mifflin Hall.”
Toler said even today the picture-taking tradition continues.
“I guarantee that you can still go over there – until the day it’s torn down – and you’ll see people having their pictures made on the steps,” he said. “The sentiment that was attached to it was not because of the physical structure of the building. This is where the command was, the center of our universe. That’s why we’re pretty protective of Mifflin Hall. It’s not only a structure but a piece of quartermaster heritage and we want to recognize preserve that aspect.”
All bricks awarded will carry the engraving “Mifflin Hall – The Quartermaster Corps Starts Here.”
A contract to demolish the building has been awarded, but the dates for demolition have not been set.