Historical Society: We’re Still Here!!!

801 K Street, NW Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

From a press release:

“In response to today’s decision by Events DC and the International Spy Museum to cancel their plans for a relocation of the Spy Museum to Mt. Vernon Square, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (HSW) wishes to clarify that this will in no way effect the continuation of the Society’s current programming and public use of the Carnegie Library. The Society looks forward to working with its main partner, Events DC, with our neighbors (old and new), and with the growing portfolio of community partners to create a new vision for Mt Vernon Square. Regardless of what the vision may include, the Society reaffirms to the local community that the Carnegie Library will continue to serve as home to its exhibit galleries, Kiplinger Research Library, historic collections, and offices well into the future.

The Historical Society has 85 years remaining on our lease at the Carnegie Library,” said Julie Koczela, Chair of the Society’s Board of Trustees. “This building has a magnificent history that fits perfectly with our mission and provides the Society with a central base to operate our library as we to continue to develop exhibits and programs that are free and open to the public. We intend to remain at the Carnegie Library as Events DC explores a restoration strategy for this beloved historical building.”

Over the last few years, the Historical Society has made great strides to increase its programs, expand researcher access, and form partnerships that advance its mission to collect, preserve and share the history of our nation’s capital. In 2012, the Society accepted the donation of the Kiplinger Washington Collection of 4,000 pieces of historic Washington photographs, prints, and artwork. The collection forms the basis of the Society’s permanent Window to Washington exhibit on display in the Carnegie’s Small-Alper Family Gallery.
Moreover, since the appointment of John Suau as Executive Director, the Historical Society has accelerated the expansion of its programs. On October 1, the Society launched its new website at www.DCHistory.org that includes a full calendar of programs, exhibits, and events at the 120- year-old organization. Upcoming events include: the Society’s Making D.C. History Awards on November 5; “Save Our African American Treasures,” a preservation symposium produced in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, November 8-9; the 41st Annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies, November 20-23; and many other planned workshops, tours, and events.

“The launch of our new website and expansion of the Board of Trustees marks a new era in the Society’s history,” said John Suau, the Society’s Executive Director. “The three year partnership with Events DC has helped us tremendously and we are now even better equipped to carry out our mission. Every donation to the Society goes directly to support our programs. Together with Events DC, we look forward to expanding our reach and public access to collections as we continue to reimagine Mt. Vernon Square.”

About the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a community‐supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation’s capital. Founded in 1894, the Society serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications. Headquartered in the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, the Society’s galleries and research library are open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.”

4 Comment

  • Let’s face it. That building is meant to be a library. It’s as if the building’s inner library rebels at alternatives (including the ho-hum DC Historical Society). How about returning it to library use? Maybe it could be the children’s wing?

    • Because it would be expensive to return it to use as a functional library…and also redundant considering that the central library less than three blocks away is about to undergo a massive renovation and expansion. I suspect that the Historical Society put this release out to counter people pointing out that the Carnegie building is essentially now an empty shell, other than the occasional use for events, and has been for a decade. The fact remains that the tiny staff of DCHS only fills a few rooms in the building, and that the rest is wasted.

      • I know about the renovation, Anon, geesh. So what I imply is, when that happens, make this the children’s wing. They always hive off the kiddy section anyway.

  • It’s a shame that the Spy Museum relocation project was canceled due to ridiculous concerns. It seems that the “panel of experts” prefer an dead, empty and severely sub utilized building instead to integrate the beautiful Carnegie Library to the daily movement of people that visit and live in the city. The building which is currently just a gorgeous mausoleum offers nothing else that a nice view to those people that pass by in direction to somewhere else. Good job! experts

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