For the past 2+ years weÂ here in Washington, DC haveÂ beenÂ awaiting not only the election resultsÂ of the U.S. Presidential campaign, butÂ the reopening ofÂ the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. The museum will finally reopen its doors once again to theÂ publicÂ on FridayÂ November 21, 2008.Â The opening celebration willÂ include a “festival” – a weekendÂ chock full ofÂ family programming.Â As very clearly articulated on the museum’s website the renovation will be a “transformation” of what was once aÂ dated, dark building. Possibly the mostÂ striking new feature isÂ the atrium skylightÂ opening up the center of the building on all levels, finally allowing natural light to highlight the visitors experience.
TheÂ renovation will dramatically transform the museum and create new ways to present the objects of our nation’s past. TheÂ building will be much easier to navigate with a central staircase between the first and secondÂ floors.Â New and improved features include 10-foot-high artifact walls on both the first and second floors showcasing some ofÂ the museumâ€™s 3 million objects, a new welcome center, a state of the artÂ exhibition hall for the Star Spangled Banner andÂ new museum stores.Â TheÂ transportationÂ hall will encompass nearly 26,000 square feet, includes 340 objects, and features 19 historic settings in chronological order. America On the Move is still a popular favorite at the museum.Â As an opening bonus,Â Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address will be on view from November 21, 2008Â through January 4, 2009.Â
For more information about the renovation and reopening, visit the museum’s website at http://americanhistory.si.edu/index.cfm