Construction underway on National Museum of African American History & Culture
Davis Brody Bond, member of the Freelon Adjaye Bond/ SmithGroup team, and the Smithsonian Institution celebrated the groundbreaking of the National Museum of African American History and Culture today in Washington, DC. The new museum, scheduled to open in 2015, will be located on a five-acre tract of land on the National Mall adjacent to the Washington Monument, across the street from the National Museum of American History. This will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African-American life, art, history and culture with collections covering slavery and freedom, military engagement and reconstruction, segregation and civil rights and cultural expressions of all forms.
President Barack Obama delivered remarks during the groundbreaking which was followed by the ceremonial breaking of the ground. Other distinguished guests and speakers included Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC); France Córdova, Chair of the Smithsonian Board of Regents; Laura Bush, Member of the NMAAHC Advisory Council; Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.); and Phylicia Rashad, Emcee. The key theme that resonated throughout all tributes was that this museum would celebrate the achievements of African Americans - not only prominent people but also ordinary African Americans who did extraordinary things.
Following the ceremony, Peter Cook, AIA, NOMA, principal-in-charge of the Davis Brody Bond team, made the following statement: “Today’s ground breaking of the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a major milestone in a long journey. For Davis Brody Bond the journey began as a dream of my late colleague J. Max Bond Jr., the Dean of African American Architects, whose quest to be one of the designers of the Museum began long before today. The groundbreaking made me recall Max and how he embodies the spirit of the Museum. Max’s lifelong efforts in the design profession opened the doors for many people of colour in an industry which had historically not provided opportunity. I am proud to be a part of his legacy and a part of this important and long overdue building.”