Announcing the Big Date

By Laura Duff
Last week we finally answered everyone’s most burning question: When will the museum reopen? November 21!

At a much anticipated press event, TV, radio, and print reporters donned hard hats and listened as Director Brent Glass talked about the progress of the renovation—underway since September 2006—and announced the opening date.

Dr. Glass covered major topics, including the new Star-Spangled Banner Gallery at the heart of the museum and the Gettysburg Address, which will be on loan from the White House for a temporary display when we reopen. He emphasized that the building’s new design will “shed new light on American History, literally and figuratively.” Gary Haney, design partner at SOM, our architectural team, talked about how the new skylit atrium will help open up the building to make it more visitor friendly.

Following the remarks, journalists were taken on tours of the construction zone. Melinda Machado and Valeska Hilbig, my colleagues from the Office of Public Affairs, and I led tours explaining what the finished museum will look like. It was wonderful to be able to look at the work that is being done through fresh outsider eyes and share the excitement for all the changes.

Carving the exhibition titleWe could not have asked for a better photo opportunity than the etching of the Star-Spangled Banner exhibition title on the marble at the entrance to the new gallery. It brought home how quickly everything is coming together and that our corridors and exhibitions will be soon full with visitors again.

Here is a sampling of some of the press coverage that came out of the event:

And a few blog posts from fans:

Laura Duff is a Public Affairs Associate. Laura has been writing background materials, organizing press kits and fielding media calls and public inquiries about the opening date. She is glad to now have a date to reopen!