Museum Minute is written by Elle O’Flaherty. Elle lives in Mt. Pleasant and previously wrote about the Smithsonian Associates.
Sometimes I forget that, in addition to the typical walk-through museum experience, the Smithsonian provides tons of free space for quiet reflection, working, and socializing if you find the right spot. I hadn’t been to the Freer in years, but recently a colleague suggested we have a meeting in the museum’s courtyard. As you can see from the picture above, the courtyard is centered on a gorgeous fountain with chairs and benches surrounding it. The sound of the water was incredibly soothing and it made a nice change from the typical depressing conference room. It’d also make a great lunch spot if you work nearby.
Although the Freer courtyard is quiet and shady, it’s probably a bit hot for this time of year. While looking for cooler options I came upon a room in the Hirshhorn with panoramic views of the Mall, a bank of comfy chairs, and two big conference tables. In fact, there was someone working on his laptop at one of the tables. It seemed like an ideal location if you’re the type who needs some noise to do work (although you’d probably have to provide your own hotspot if you need an internet connection). A couple of other interesting spaces came to mind (specifically, the National Portrait Gallery’s enclosed courtyard, which is a great spot for a date and they serve wine). I’d love to hear about any others I should check out in the comments.