Some Cool Exhibits Going into the Carnegie Library


This building located just south of the new convention center is architecturally freaking awesome. I seem to recall that there was supposed to be a DC museum or something like that but it didn’t end up working out. Of course there is a banner that says welcome to the Historical Society of Washington, DC, so I’m pretty confused. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Weren’t there some money problems and it closed after 6 months or so? Anyway, I was overjoyed to see these gigantic banners advertising two new exhibits going on inside.  Specific exhibits after the jump.

There will be one on black baseball in DC.


And the other exhibit seems super interesting and potentially quite provocative.


I’m super intrigued by “Riots are the language of the unheard”.

If those exhibits don’t seem interesting it’s definitely worth checking out the building itself which sits in marked contrast to the new convention center and is dotted with amazing details.


16 Comment

  • I eat lunch on the steps of this building several times a week. It’s a beautiful place to repose and take in the sun in the middle of the day. I’ve often wondered what was inside, but I’ve never gone in. Maybe now I will!

  • I think this would be a great site for a a DC Public Library. I want to call it the new Central library, but the site isn’t big enough. I would build DOWN though, like they do at Universities, with 5+ floors of “stacks” connected by elevators and stairs. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but I think it could be done.

    Also, re: riots, that seems to glorify rioting. Rioting is awful and there is NO excuse for it. The rioting 40 yrs ago was indiscriminate and destroyed the livelihoods of many innocents (including AA businesses). My mother and father lived through them and it was a scary time…

  • That was once the site of the ill fated DC City Museum. Here’s info on its current use (gotta love wikipedia!!),_D.C.

  • It is a beautiful building! The Historical Society of Washington, DC is most certainly in operation and has a very nice library on the second floor.

  • Scott G.. agree.. what a stupid banner/exhibition title.

  • According to my computer, “riots are the language of the unheard” is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Well yeah, its still a stupid sentense in my opinion.

  • Scott G: my thoughts exactly! This would make a great home for at the very least the DCPL’s Washingtonia collection, so researchers could have all the local history available under one roof, with the Historical Society there too.

    Also in agreement on the glorifying of rioting quote/exhibition, though perhaps the contents of the exhibit are more objective in tone.

  • I once worked with a DC Archivist maybe 12 years ago and I would say that he, over all, wasn’t remotely objective on such issues. Insane level of victim mentality for someone who was a professional who helped shape culture.

  • I’m not familiar with this exhibit but I’m willing to bet that it’s objective isn’t to glorify rioting. It’s about remembrance and awareness. It’s also a significant part of Washington DC’s history which I assume is important to the “HISTORICAL Society of Washington DC”. I’d reserve judgment on the “senselessness” and “stupid”ity of someone’s attempt to educate.

  • oops…the first “it’s” should be “its”…

  • Wasn’t that originally the DC Library, built by Carnegie or Mellon or some other robber baron philanthropist?

  • This looks like a great new addition to the city. I’m really excited about it. It’s really surprising when I talk to visitors to DC or new arrivals and they simply have no idea about the really complex history of this city.

    I doubt the museum intends to glorify rioting and I think the King qoute is fairly accurate. I would think that riotaing is ONE language that voiceless people use, but it is certainly not the best. All over the world, when people are prevented from having a voice or are deeply repressed, inevitably, they will find ways to revolt. In other worlds, they resort to lawless activities because the law or defacto social norms do not provide them with the liberties or resources that they rightly deserve. This is nearly a political law. Look to Eastern Europe, South Africa, China and most recently France and you’ll see people who are disempowered and desperate trying to express their frustration through urban violence. It’s really terrible to be sure. Nonviolent resistance is arguably more effective, but in some parts of the world, people lack the ability to organize nonviolently. To see parts of Washington and AA businesses permanently destroyed clearly set Washington back for decades. I’m sure many people who were involved in the rioting deeply regret their involvement. But if you look at all of this in a national context, it’s clear that many African Americans felt so deeply frustrated and angry and without any means of expressing it, that they resorted to senseless violence. So, yes, in many ways, rioting is a language for the unheard. Whether it is THE language is debatable. Ghandi would surely disagree.

  • “people lack the ability to organize nonviolently.”

    What does this mean? Are you seriously applying this sentence to the French riots?

  • PoP – There’s an AAHT sign on the north side of the old library.

  • Not to worry-Scott G. Seems like no one questions (much less riots) anything anymore. Unless, of course, the barista is moving too slowly, or the Metro breaks down..

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