New Museum Groundbreaking on February 22
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, will be the the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. Construction is expected to be completed in 2015. Whether you are relocating to Washington or you are a Washington native, a new museum is always a cause for excitement!
The National Mall will light up on Wednesday, Feb. 22 with the star-studded groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Even President Obama will be there as a speaker for this exciting new addition to the Washington scene. After enjoying the festivities, you should take a tour of the ever evolving Capitol Hill area with its gorgeous Victorian homes and upscale condos, perfect for first time homebuyers and empty nesters. Check out the cheese stand at the Eastern Market for some exceptional foods and grab a cup of coffee or do a little shopping across the street. Capitol Hill is an exception place to live and just a short trip to the Mall and its great museums!
The Museum of African American History and Culture won’t open until 2015, but here is a short list of some of the monumental efforts leading to this moment – courtesy of DC Magazine.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., sponsor the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act with the hopes of securing federal funding for a future museum.
President George W. Bush signs the legislation in the Oval Office. The NMAAHC will be a reality—in 12 years.
Lonnie Bunch is named founding director, but he has no artifacts, no location and no architect. “In some ways this process has been like going on a cruise while you’re building the ship,” says Bunch.
The Smithsonian Board of Regents selects a 5-acre location on the Mall—literally in the shadow of the Washington Monument—for the new museum.
A design competition board, consisting of outside experts and Smithsonian pros, chooses famed architect David Adjaye’s plan, put together by the architectural team Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup.
On the 97th anniversary of her death, the museum is given Harriet Tubman’s hymnal, along with 38 other artifacts that once belonged to the famous Underground Railroad operator.
NMAAHC opens Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment at the National Museum of American History featuring Michael Jackson’s famed fedora.
The Spirit of Tuskegee biplane, used by the Tuskegee Airmen during training in World War II, lands in Washington to add to NMAAHC’s 15,000 acquisitions.
After a little persuasion, rock ‘n’ roller Chuck Berry agrees to turn over his favorite candy-apple red Cadillac for display at the museum.
The groundbreaking’s invite list includes international figures, such as President Barack Obama, whose campaign and life will be covered in the museum. “We want people to see that the story continues today,” says Bunch.