Housing Complex

Washingtoniana Museum Gets a Footprint

Plunking down on a rose garden. (Sketch by Hartman Cox, Paint editing by Lydia DePillis)

Earlier this spring, George Washington University announced that real estate developer and history buff Albert H. Small had donated his entire collection of odds end ends about D.C. history, plus $5 million, for the construction of a new museum on the University's campus. GWU is now now working towards an amendment to their campus plan to make the thing a reality, and has retained Hartman Cox Architects to do one of their characteristically classical designs for the 26,000-square-foot, four-story edifice.

There might be a little neighborhood grumbling about the fact that the museum will be plopped on top of what's now a contemplative rose garden, but on the scale of things, something dedicated to D.C. history—especially if it's open to the public—is one of the better things a university could replace it with. It's particularly exciting because GWU, over the years, has weakened its academic programs that study the Washington region. So perhaps having a dedicated museum will catalyze more support for contemporary research.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    So, is the Washington Historical Society moving to the new facility, or is this a totally different institution? Would it not make more sense if the two collections of historic materials were consolidated under one roof?

  • LongTimeRez

    The New MUSUEM??? Ah, GW, always on the cutting edge frontier of bloviated self-promotion.

  • http://silverspringthenagain.blogspot.com/ Jerry A. McCoy

    With the Historical Society of Washington struggling to simply survive, this "Washingtoniana Museum" is nothing more than a monument to Mr. Small's vanity and GWU's greed.

  • http://NotionsCapital.com Mike Licht

    How's the DC Public Library Washingtonia division doing these days, anybody know?

  • http://www.dclibrary.org/research/collections Washingtoniana & Peabody Room

    Both Washingtoniana Division and its Peabody Room are doing great. Come visit us!

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