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US$500m African American history museum to open in 2015

by Aoife Dowling | 13 Feb 2013

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, US, which has been 10 years in the making, will be unveiled in 2015.

Located beside the Washington Monument on Washington's National Mall, the five-acre site will be devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture.

It was established as a Smithsonian museum by an Act of Congress in 2003. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life.

The museum will preserve and display American heritage through exhibitions and public programmes about social, political, cultural, scientific and military history.

Documenting the American experience from colonial times to the present, the museum looks at growth and change in the United States.

The aim is to stimulate a dialogue about race and help foster a spirit of reconciliation and healing. It will also showcase how the struggle of African Americans has impacted freedom struggles around the world.

The architectural team is a collaboration of four firms: The Freelon Group; Adjaye Associates; Davis Brody Bond; and the SmithGroup.

The primary architectural idea for the museum was derived from the classical tripartite column with its base, shaft and capital. A bronze crown on top of the column will reflect an African American presence that is a permanent part of the American landscape.

At night, the crown glows, presenting views of the museum from a variety of vantage points in and around the Mall.

Groundbreaking for the multi-million dollar museum took place last year in a ceremony with President Barack Obama; former First Lady Laura Bush, a member of the museum's advisory council; and Rep. John Lewis, who co-sponsored the legislation that created the museum.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, US, which has been 10 years in the making, will be unveiled in 2015. Located beside the Washington Monument on Washington's National Mall, the five-acre site will be devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. It was established as a Smithsonian museum by an Act of Congress in 2003. It is the only
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