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Preservation Press Release
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National Museum of American History Will Open November 21, 2008
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
Contributed By: National Museum of American History
Email The Author: info@si.edu
Website: http://americanhistory.si.edu

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open its doors to the public Friday, Nov. 21, providing a new look at the almost 200-year-old Star-Spangled Banner and a rare chance to see the White House copy of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The reopening will mark the completion of a two-year, $85 million renovation of the building’s center core, dramatically transforming the museum’s architectural appeal while reorganizing and renewing the presentation of its extensive collections.

Visitors will enter a dramatic five-story sky-lit atrium, surrounded by artifact displays filled with more than 400 objects showcasing the breadth and depth of the museum’s three million objects representing the cultural, social, technological and political history of the United States. An architectural representation of a waving flag—960 reflective tiles made of polycarbonate material—frames the entrance to the Star-Spangled Banner gallery. The gallery itself is a climate-controlled state-of-the-art chamber designed to evoke the “dawn’s early light.” An exhibition that includes multimedia displays and historic objects will tell the story of the flag and the National Anthem.

“For people of all ages, a visit to the National Museum of American History can be a defining event—providing a deep and fundamental understanding of what it has meant to be an American,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “Millions of visitors will enjoy new opportunities to explore the American narrative and the core stories of our national experience in an inspiring and memorable setting.”

The renovation project focused on three areas: architectural enhancements to the center core, including a grand staircase and a skylight; construction of a new Star-Spangled Banner gallery and updates to the 44-year-old building’s infrastructure. Architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP of New York designed the project and Turner Construction Company is responsible for the overall construction. New York design firms Chermayeff & Geismar Studio and C&G Partners are working with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill on the new gallery for the Star-Spangled Banner.


Keywords: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Posted: August 20, 2008
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