The new African American History Museum prepares to break ground
On Feb. 22 the new National Museum of African American History and Culture will break ground on the Mall, in the proximity of the Washington Monument. This museum, approved by Congress in 2003, is the culmination of efforts started by black Civil War veterans.
The most distinctive feature of the building will be an inverse truncated pyramid called the Corona. This structure will be covered with bronze-coated panels held by a mesh of trusses. The design of the panels is inspired by the African American-made ironwork grilles
from Charleston and New Orleans.
South Plaza and water feature
The south entry is composed of the Porch, a central water feature and a sloped lawn and hedge area that forms the edge of the Madison Street sidewalk. Overlaid onto this entry will be inscriptions that establish a stronger connection to the content of the museum. While the exact content and layout of these inscriptions still needs to be worked out, the design of the water feature has been modified to incorporate them into the basin.
Location and size
The museum will be built on the East-West axis of the National Mall, between the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open in late
2015, has been designed as a seven-level
structure that has more of its 374,000 sq feet buried underground. The new gallery is expected to draw 3 to 3.5 million visitors each year.
Nat’l Museum of African American History
Nat’l Museum of American History
Nat’l Museum of Natural History
Nat’l Gallery of Art West Bldg.
Nat’l Gallery of Art East Bldg.
Freer Sackler Gallery
Nat’l Air and Space Museum
Nat’l Mus.of the American Indian
National Museum of African American History and Culture
portion of the building
Elevation from Madison Drive
Aboveground 148,316 sq ft
Belowground 225,483 sq ft
SOURCE: Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group, National Museum of African American History. GRAPHIC: Alberto Cuadra and Todd Lindeman - The Washington Post. Published Feb. 18, 2012.