National Building Museum

National Building Museum The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build.
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The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. Transform your understanding of the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and design. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, we welcome all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. The Museum resides in one of the most awe-inspiring places in Washington, D.C., with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze.

Happy 131st birthday to the Eiffel Tower! 🥳Which was opened and dedicated on this day in 1899. At the time, it was the t...
03/31/2020

Happy 131st birthday to the Eiffel Tower! 🥳Which was opened and dedicated on this day in 1899. At the time, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world (1,063 feet/324 meters), a title it held until Manhattan's Chrysler Building was completed in 1930. Learn more about Gustave Eiffel's most famous design at

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/the-monument/history.

The National Building Museum has its own model of this Paris icon. This unusually large, circa 1900 jigsaw-cut wood model is made of interlocking pieces, which slide together as with a puzzle. It's part of the David Weingarten Collection of 20th Century Souvenir Buildings, 3,000-plus 3D miniatures of actual buildings and monuments that exist or have existed. Amassed over 40 years and representing structures from more than 60 countries, the collection is the leading and most extensive of its kind. After decades of display in museums and private residences, the entire collection was donated to the Museum in 2019. https://www.nbm.org/collections/20th-century-souvenir-buildings/

https://www.nbm.org/national-building-museum-announces-20th-century-souvenir-buildings-collection/

Happy 131st birthday to the Eiffel Tower! 🥳 Today in history, March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened. To commemorate th...
03/31/2020

Happy 131st birthday to the Eiffel Tower! 🥳
Today in history, March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened. To commemorate this significant moment in time, we look back to one of our more interesting collections, the 20th Century Souvenir Buildings Collection, which consists of a donation of over 3,000 souvenir buildings from the collection of David Weingarten. Amassed over 40 years and representing buildings from over 60 countries, this collection is the leading and most extensive of its kind. These pocket-sized buildings are at once a reminder of travel, and a record of popular architecture—“a measure of places travelers have thought worth remembering.” Included in the collection are iconic tourist destinations, like the Eiffel Tower; Tower of Pisa; Empire State Building; the Parthenon; the Space Needle; the Alamo; and the Temple of Heaven. Learn more about this collection (see link in bio)

Architect Liz Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, oversaw the expansion of MoMA The Museum of Modern A...
03/30/2020

Architect Liz Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, oversaw the expansion of MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, & designing The Shed and the High Line.
In 2018, she spearheaded the Mile-Long Opera on the High Line. She is a professor of architecture design at Princeton University. #WomenInArchitecture

Zena Howard, Perkins and Will North Carolina Managing Director, says her favorite project in her career so far has been ...
03/28/2020

Zena Howard, Perkins and Will North Carolina Managing Director, says her favorite project in her career so far has been working as project manager for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Her portfolio also incl udes the Motown Museum in Detroit, the Durham County Human Services Complex & the Anacostia & Tenley-Friendship libraries in DC.
#WomenInArchitecture

Our doors may be closed for now, but the National Building Museum Shop's website, the online version of the best design-...
03/27/2020

Our doors may be closed for now, but the National Building Museum Shop's website, the online version of the best design-focused store in the District, remains open: http://nbmshop.org.

Looking for something to pass the time? They've got shelfloads of books, not to mention toys, games, and educational products for young minds.

Want to show a little love for Washington, D.C.? The Museum Shop carries many District-centric items and other exclusive products. And there's plenty more to browse, including office products, home decor, and fashion items.

And don't forget: Every sale also benefits the National Building Museum. Pro tip: Become a Museum member and get 10% off of every purchase! https://www.nbm.org/join

Architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith proposed in a 1967 report the falling apart Pension Building be converted into a muse...
03/26/2020

Architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith proposed in a 1967 report the falling apart Pension Building be converted into a museum for the building arts instead of demolition. The National Building Museum opened in 1985 as a private nonprofit educational institution.
Smith was influential in shaping DC through her work in redeveloping the city's Southwest quadrant, designing the National Airport Metro Station and running the largest woman-owned architecture firm in the 1970s. #WomenInArchitecture
www.nbm.org/about/historic-home/

Fun fact: The National Building Museum is formerly known as the Pension Bureau building, designed and constructed in 188...
03/25/2020

Fun fact: The National Building Museum is formerly known as the Pension Bureau building, designed and constructed in 1887 by Montgomery Meigs, the US Army Quartermaster General during the American Civil War. Meigs based his design of the Pension Bureau building on some Italian Renaissance buildings including Rome's Palazzo Farnese and Plazzo della Cancelleria

📸: @housethacker

The first Native American woman in the U.S. to become a licensed architect, Tamara Eagle Bull, concentrates her firm’s e...
03/24/2020

The first Native American woman in the U.S. to become a licensed architect, Tamara Eagle Bull, concentrates her firm’s efforts for native groups. Encompass Architects works on designs for schools, government offices & community projects for tribes in the Midwest & West.
She was awarded AIA's 2018 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award
#WomenInArchitecture

"I dream of Green Cities with Green Buildings where rural and urban activities live in harmony"  - Landscape Architect C...
03/22/2020

"I dream of Green Cities with Green Buildings where rural and urban activities live in harmony"
- Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
Oberlander's work includes landscape designs for Vancouver Public Library, numerous playgrounds and housing projects and other public spaces. #WomeninArchitecture

Our logo has been slightly modified as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration. Can you spot the differences?
03/21/2020

Our logo has been slightly modified as part of our 40th Anniversary celebration. Can you spot the differences?

Architect Blanche Lemco van Ginkel helped save Old Montreal from being destroyed to make way for an expressway. Her work...
03/20/2020

Architect Blanche Lemco van Ginkel helped save Old Montreal from being destroyed to make way for an expressway. Her work can be seen in Bowring Park in St. John's, the world fair Expo 67 master plan and the central area plan of Montréal.
#WomeninArchitecture

Denise Scott Brown changed architecture research via her techniques investigating the emerging automobile city and looki...
03/18/2020

Denise Scott Brown changed architecture research via her techniques investigating the emerging automobile city and looking at symbolism's role in architecture.
#WomenInArchitecture

Beverly Loraine Greene became the first African-American female architect in the U.S. after obtaining her license in 194...
03/16/2020

Beverly Loraine Greene became the first African-American female architect in the U.S. after obtaining her license in 1942. Notable projects of hers are the UNESCO UN headquarters and the Unity Funeral Home - where her memorial service was held in 1957
#WomenInArchitecture

Architect Suchi Reddy founded Reddymade Architecture & Design in 2002 and her work includes public installations, exhibi...
03/14/2020

Architect Suchi Reddy founded Reddymade Architecture & Design in 2002 and her work includes public installations, exhibit design and adaptive reuse. Her 2019 collaboration on the “A Space for Being” explored #neuroaesthetics in an interactive exhibit in Milan. #WomenInArchitecture

As a public health precaution due to the #coronavirus, the National Building Museum remains closed for now, and all publ...
03/13/2020

As a public health precaution due to the #coronavirus, the National Building Museum remains closed for now, and all public programming has been canceled through April 30. We continue to monitor official health recommendations as they may affect a future reopening date. Museum staff in charge of those programs that required registration and payment will notify registrants of the cancelations, the rescheduling opportunities, and the credit or refund process.

Please take care of yourselves. We hope to welcome you back to the museum soon.

Architect Phyllis Lambert founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture, oversaw completion of the Seagram Building and w...
03/13/2020

Architect Phyllis Lambert founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture, oversaw completion of the Seagram Building and was awarded the Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize in 2006.
#WomenInArchitecture

Architect Jing Liu co-founded SO-IL SO - IL with Florian Idenburg in 2008 and her firm has designed iconic buildings acr...
03/10/2020

Architect Jing Liu co-founded SO-IL SO - IL with Florian Idenburg in 2008 and her firm has designed iconic buildings across the globe, including the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis and the Kukje Gallery-K3 in Seoul. Liu's also a faculty member @ColumbiaGSAPP #WomenInArchitecture

The first female architect in the U.S. was Louise Blanchard Bethune, who famously refused to enter a design competition ...
03/08/2020

The first female architect in the U.S. was Louise Blanchard Bethune, who famously refused to enter a design competition at Chicago’s 1893 World Expo because of unequal pay. She founded her firm in 1881 in Buffalo and her best known-work is the Hotel Lafayette #WomenInArchitecture

The Smithsonian has millions of searchable images now available through its #SmithsonianOpenAccess, including this one o...
03/05/2020

The Smithsonian has millions of searchable images now available through its #SmithsonianOpenAccess, including this one of the construction of the Pension Building in the 1880s - now the home of the National Building Museum. si.edu/OpenAccess
Learn more about the Museum's historic home, www.nbm.org/about/historic-home/

The Jig Saw Junior is a staff favorite as it stands out in the Museum’s Architecture Tool Collection.While other artifac...
03/02/2020

The Jig Saw Junior is a staff favorite as it stands out in the Museum’s Architecture Tool Collection.
While other artifacts in the Collection serve to illuminate the building process, the Jig Saw Jr. can conjure terrifying images of tiny tots operating an electric-powered reciprocating saw.
However, the Jig Saw Jr. also demonstrates an interest in building a complex and intricate world begins at a young age.

Learn more at www.nbm.org/collections/tool-collection/
#40artifacts #40years

The late Joseph Robinson was denied working as an architect when he moved to Atlanta because of segregation, so he becam...
02/29/2020

The late Joseph Robinson was denied working as an architect when he moved to Atlanta because of segregation, so he became a public school teacher instead, teaching subjects such as descriptive geometry. He later founded JW Robinson and Associates and used his practice to mentor numerous African American architects. He also was a charter member of the National Association of Minority Architects.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Hood Design Studio founder Walter Hood is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow for his "commitment to designing ecologically sustaina...
02/28/2020

Hood Design Studio founder Walter Hood is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow for his "commitment to designing ecologically sustainable public spaces that empower marginalized communities.” He has transformed landscapes at museums, vacant lots and freeway underpasses.
He's designed the Memorial Gardens for the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, featuring a Tidal Tribute where life-sized figures, aligned as though confined within the hold of a slave ship, are revealed as the waters recede.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Detroit native Tiffany Brown, SmithGroup project manager, started 400 FORWARD to inspire African American girls to becom...
02/27/2020

Detroit native Tiffany Brown, SmithGroup project manager, started 400 FORWARD to inspire African American girls to become interested in architecture. The program also provides scholarships and pays for study material and licensing exams.

Do you want to help mentor the next generation of design professionals? The Museum is recruiting volunteers! Apply by We...
02/27/2020

Do you want to help mentor the next generation of design professionals? The Museum is recruiting volunteers!
Apply by Wednesday March 4 at https://www.nbm.org/teen-programs-volunteer/

UPDATE: To do our part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, all Museum programming is canceled through April 30. This means the Design Apprenticeship Program for this spring has been canceled as well. The National Building Museum is also closed for now. Please keep checking our website or National Building Museum FB page for the most up to date information. Stay well!

🗣 Calling all design professionals! 🗣
Do you want to help mentor the next generation of design professionals?
Studio 231 is currently recruiting volunteers for the Design Apprenticeship Program, our design-build program for teens in DC, and we want YOU. Experience with architecture, design, planning, engineering, or construction is encouraged. This spring, we will use the Gun Violence Memorial Project at the Museum and public art as inspiration to explore how design and art are used to create commemorative spaces and spaces for healing around DC.
Find our volunteer application + more info about volunteering at https://www.nbm.org/teen-programs-volunteer/. Applications are due Wednesday, March 4, and the program runs on Saturdays from March 21 to May 30 (no program on April 11 or May 23). Tell your friends! Come hang out with us!

Bryan Lee, founded Colloqate Design, a design practice dedicated to creating spaces of racial, social and cultural equit...
02/26/2020

Bryan Lee, founded Colloqate Design, a design practice dedicated to creating spaces of racial, social and cultural equity.
He's the founding organizer of the Design Justice Platform and has led architecture + design programs for high school students at a local and national level.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Kathryn Prigmore, associate director of Shalom Baranes Associates, has specialized in designing buildings for the federa...
02/25/2020

Kathryn Prigmore, associate director of Shalom Baranes Associates, has specialized in designing buildings for the federal government, including ones with sensitive/classified defense missions. She was the 14th licensed African-American woman architect in the U.S.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

In the 1960s and ’70s, Jay Swayze’s Underground Home Company set out to convince Americans to invest in a luxury fallout...
02/24/2020

In the 1960s and ’70s, Jay Swayze’s Underground Home Company set out to convince Americans to invest in a luxury fallout shelter, arguing that the Cold War and other security threats warranted the move.
Virgil Rowland used this sales kit - generously donated to the National Building Museum by his family - of photos of underground homes and suggested floor plans to sell the idea of living in comfort 15 feet underground.
#40artifacts #40years #history #coldwar

Michael Ford, aka the “Hip Hop Architect" has worked to use his research on the intersection of hip hop and architecture...
02/23/2020

Michael Ford, aka the “Hip Hop Architect" has worked to use his research on the intersection of hip hop and architecture to include more diverse voices in the field. He started the Hip Hop Architecture Camp and co-founded the Urban Arts Collective. #BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Gabrielle Bullock, Perkins and Will director of global diversity, got her passion for architecture to positively affect ...
02/22/2020

Gabrielle Bullock, Perkins and Will director of global diversity, got her passion for architecture to positively affect the lives of African Americans and people of color living in her community. She was the recipient of AIA's 2020 Whitney M. Young award for her commitment to championing diversity in the entire architecture profession.

Father-son team, Curtis and Jonathan Moody lead MoodyNolan, an architecture firm started by Curtis in 1982 and which Jon...
02/21/2020

Father-son team, Curtis and Jonathan Moody lead MoodyNolan, an architecture firm started by Curtis in 1982 and which Jonathan became CEO in 2019. Starting with two employees the firm has grown to become the largest African-American architecture firm in the US. #BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

The Gun Violence Memorial Project
02/21/2020

The Gun Violence Memorial Project

Join us at one of our in-person object collections in Miami, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Objects collected at these events will be displayed in the memorial opening at the National Building Museum in April 2020. Please visit gunviolencememorialproject.org for more information about how to contribute.

This solo shoe, found under the floorboards of the former Pension Building, reflects an old superstition that hiding sho...
02/20/2020

This solo shoe, found under the floorboards of the former Pension Building, reflects an old superstition that hiding shoes in a building as its being built will ward off evil. None of the shoes in the Museum’s Pension Building Collection have pairs. They’re all single shoes - some men’s, some women’s - and from various socioeconomic levels. Learn more about the Pension Building Collection at www.nbm.org/collections/pension-building/
#40artifacts #40years #history

Visit our newly renovated Great Hall, Ticketing Gallery and new exhibition spaces, featuring the brand new exhibition "A...
02/19/2020

Visit our newly renovated Great Hall, Ticketing Gallery and new exhibition spaces, featuring the brand new exhibition "Alan Karchmer: The Architects’ Photographer."
We look forward to seeing you again!

Photo by Alan Karchmer
www.nbm.org/exhibition/alan-karchmer/

PascaleSablan, S9 Architecture senior associate, founded Beyond the Built Environment, a nonprofit aimed at addressing i...
02/19/2020

PascaleSablan, S9 Architecture senior associate, founded Beyond the Built Environment, a nonprofit aimed at addressing inequitable disparities in architecture by elevating minority architects. She is the 315th black female licensed architect in the U.S.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Fragile, rare, and heavy, the 4,000 glass negatives in our Wurts Brothers Photography Archive are stored vertically to p...
02/18/2020

Fragile, rare, and heavy, the 4,000 glass negatives in our Wurts Brothers Photography Archive are stored vertically to prevent cracking and are kept in one of our colder storage areas.
The mansion captured here is the Ellerslie estate in Rhinebeck, NY. Ellerslie was the residence of Levi P. Morton, 22nd Vice President of the United States under President Benjamin Harrison, and later the 31st Governor of New York.
Learn more at www.nbm.org/collections/wurts-brothers-photography/

Paul Revere Williams became known for designing major buildings in California, including the space-aged LAX Theme Buildi...
02/17/2020

Paul Revere Williams became known for designing major buildings in California, including the space-aged LAX Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport. Many of the most beautiful residences in Hollywood were created by Paul Revere Williams.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Vertner Woodson Tandy was the first registered black architect in New York State, the first black architect to belong to...
02/15/2020

Vertner Woodson Tandy was the first registered black architect in New York State, the first black architect to belong to the American Institute of Architects AIA, and the first black man to pass the military commissioning examination. Most of his designs are all in Harlem.
#BlackArchitecture #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Barry L. Gfeller, an amateur photographer, crisscrossed America in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s creating a record of main s...
02/14/2020

Barry L. Gfeller, an amateur photographer, crisscrossed America in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s creating a record of main streets and quirky buildings all across the country. In 1985 Gfeller snapped this shot of Cupid’s Mailbox in Valentine, Nebraska. Famously, Valentine’s Day cards mailed through Valentine receive a special post-mark signifying that the envelope or package traveled through America’s “Heart City.” Gfeller’s photo captures one of the special mail boxes where cards could be left in advance to receive their mark come February. HeartCity.com - Valentine, Nebraska recently reported that as many as 10,000 cards are mailed to them each year to be re-mailed in February carrying Valentine’s unique seal.

This photo is just one of the many gems that's included in the Gfeller: Mainstreet USA Collection donated to the National Building Museum in 2019. Consisting of 50,000 photos and negatives covering 44 states and six Canadian provinces, the collection is currently being processed and we hope to share more detailed information and images from this amazing acquisition in the coming months. In the meantime, learn more at www.nbm.org/collections/the-gfeller-collection-mainstreet-usa/.
#HappyValentinesDay #ValentineNebraska #Gfeller #photography

Address

401 F St NW
Washington D.C., DC
20001

Metro Red Line to Judiciary Square

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(202) 272-2448

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