Best Museum That Doesn’t Exist Yet
The National Museum of the American People
There are so many causes angling for space in D.C. that it sometimes feel like there are more phantom museums and memorials around the Mall than real ones—for Latinos, Women, Armenians, Innovation, Presidents, and people who died in World War I (including Armenians), to name a few. It often takes gobs of cash and decades of thankless toil to actually bring one into the world, and each effort has a somewhat crazed individual behind it. Of all these, it’s hard not to love the idealism of the National Museum of the American People, which eschews the single-identity approach in favor of commemorating all the ethnic groups in the United States at once. Besides a permanent exhibition, the museum would house a National Genealogical Center and a Center for the Advanced Study of the American People. Federal government retiree Sam Eskenazi has been working on the project since 2007—not long, in museum years—and hopes 2011 will be the year a national commission is established to study his idea.