Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BZA Approval for Armenian Museum

The DC Board of Zoning Adjustment recently approved plans for the development of the former Federal-American National Bank at 615 14th Street, N.W. into the Armenian Genocide Museum of America. The board unanimously approved plans for a complete restoration and renovation of the five story 50,000 s.f. landmarked bank into 18,000 s.f. of exhibit space in what will be, "The premier institution in the United States dedicated to educating American and international audiences about the Armenian Genocide and its continuing consequences."

Designed by Martinez & Johnson Architecture, the museum will be two blocks from White House, within walking distance of the Smithsonian and down the street from the US Holocaust Museum, a location that symbolically fuses politics, genocide, and education.

Exhibits will be constructed in the two-story banking hall as well as the fourth floor. According to the architect's plans, the exterior will also get a face lift that will include masonry work, general cleaning, and the reconstruction of first floor storefronts. The museum is scheduled for a 2010 opening and will include interactive exhibits, "state-of-the-art" technology, online programs, and places of reflection.

The museum's website compares the Armenian Genocide, which started in 1915, to that of the Holocaust, Darfur, and Rwanda.


Anonymous said...

This is kind of a depressing use for this beautiful building. How many people are going to be beating a path to an Armenian Genocide Museum? Granted this should piece of history should be honored but I don't think this is the place for it.

stickymcbiscuit on Aug 22, 2008, 5:09:00 PM said...

I'm just happy to see it turned into SOMETHING. That building has sat vacant for way too long.

mediocre bad guy on Aug 24, 2008, 4:11:00 AM said...

I agree with anonymous.


Anonymous said...

Glad this beautiful building is being saved and won't be vacant much longer. The history is depressing, but also important. If the museum tells their story well, the museum can also be a celebration of the success many Armenians who escaped to the US have had.


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