On Sunday, the National Postal Museum rises from the underground. The not widely known Smithsonian museum, which turned 20 this summer, has long made do with below--ground exhibition space in the old City Post Office Building across First Street NE from Union Station. But all that changes with the opening of the street--level William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, in the former Capitol City Brewing Company space.
Named in honor of a stamp collector who donated $10 million to the museum, the 12,000--square--foot gallery will highlight the museum’s philately collection, as well as items on loan from Gross. Opening--day festivities include tours, family activities and a 1 p.m. ceremony honoring the release of a special $2 stamp reprinted from the infamous inverted Jenny, a sought--after 1918 misprint of a 24--cent stamp design that featured an upside--down Curtiss JN--4 (or “Jenny”) aircraft.