Landscape Architect & Specifier News

OCT 2016

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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166 Landscape Architect and Specifier News National Museum of African American History and Culture Debut An African American museum on the D.C. Mall began as an aspiring endeavor in 2003 with a handful of staff. There were no artifacts, no site and no architects. Those aspirations have now been fulfilled. The museum staff has grown to 200, and has raised $315 million from private donors. The museum is now a reality, sitting at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 14th Street, across from the Washington Monument. It's called the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). It opened to the public on Saturday, Sept. 24, following a 10 a.m. dedication ceremony with President Obama and other dignitaries on the outdoor stage that faces the Washington Monument grounds. The museum has 3,000 artifacts ranging from the 1800s to modern times: a Dec. 23, 1835 bill of sale for a 16-year old slave girl; wrought iron ankle shackles (circa 1863) for ship crossings; an entire, albeit small, early 19th century South Carolina plantation cabin; Nat Turner's bible (1830s); a segregation-era Southern railway car; a brass trumpet crafted by Henri Selmer for Louis Armstrong (1946); Chuck Berry's Cadillac (1973); and Muhammad Ali's headgear from the Fifth Street Gym (1960s). The museum's 12 inaugural exhibitions are grouped around three main themes: history, community and culture, and include an exhibit about the museum's evolution called "A Century in the Making." The 400,000 square-foot museum houses an education and technology center on the second floor, the Sweet Home Café, a museum store, the Oprah Winfrey Theater, a welcome center and orientation theater, and a contemplative court. "If we've done our job right, I trust the museum will be place for all Americans to ponder, reflect, learn, rejoice, collaborate and, ultimately, draw sustenance and inspiration from the lessons of history to make America better," said Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum. The National Museum of African American History and Culture Team The Freelon Group: Architect of record; managed 32 consultants. New on the Mall The opening of the Smithsonian's $540 million, 400,000 sq. ft. National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall "….was born out of a century of fitful and frustrated efforts to commemorate African American history in the nation's capital," said Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum. The building exterior has 3,600 bronze-colored cast-aluminum 'Corona' panels. PHOTO: SMITHGROUPJJR (Continued on page 194)

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