City Museum of Washington, D.C.Edit profile
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is an educational foundation and museum dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of Washington, D.C. The society provides lectures, exhibits, classes, community events, and other educational programs as part of its mission. In addition, the society's Kiplinger Research Library houses a collection of books, maps, photographs, and other materials relevant to the history of the city.
Located in the center of Mount Vernon Square in Washington, the society occupies a Beaux-Arts building built by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 (one of his many Carnegie libraries), originally used as the District of Columbia Public Library. The building is open to the public from Monday through Sunday 10am to 5pm. Visitors are welcome to tour current exhibits and use the society's library.
Prior to the reorganization of the Historical Society, the building housed the City Museum of Washington, D.C.- devoted to the history of Washington, D.C. The Montreal firm gsmprjct° was contracted to design and develop the overall concept for the museum, including a multimedia show called Washington Stories. The museum contained three permanent galleries, a temporary gallery, and a theatrical multimedia show. The goal was to create a 21st century museum that combined new technology and interactivity — making it fun and easy to learn about Washington’s history — with the historic meaning of the early 20th century building housing it. The museum's planners collaborated with the architectural firm Ackerman & Ross to complete building alterations in order to accommodate the exhibits.
The City Museum opened in May 2003, but closed in April 2005 because of low attendance and financial difficulties. The Historical Society has since reopened the building and currently has several exhibits on display.