Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1
From a press release:
This Saturday, May 18, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. [500 17th Street NW] will participate in Art Museum Day, an initiative of the Association of Art Museum directors by providing visitors FREE admission to the Corcoran, Washington’s oldest museum.
Additionally, the Corcoran will offer free admission on Saturdays starting Memorial Day weekend and lasting all summer long, as part of its Free Summer Saturday promotion.
AAMD’s Art Museum Day coincides with International Museum Day, organized annually around the world by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Participation by AAMD member museums emphasizes the lasting impact art museums have on their communities, highlights the value of visual arts in society, and provides opportunities for audiences to participate in wide-ranging programs and share their encounters with works of art.
There are many reasons to love the Corcoran, and free admission this Saturday is just one of them.
Photo by PoPville flickr user egr5005
From the National Aquarium:
The Board of Directors of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, has announced that, due to necessary renovations in the Department of Commerce building, the facility will be closing on September 30, 2013. The General Services Administration (GSA) requires National Aquarium to vacate its current space in the building by March 2014.
This September 30 closing date allows National Aquarium, Washington, DC, to meet GSA’s March deadline using a timeline that accommodates its main priority: the needs of its animals and staff. The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either National Aquarium, Baltimore, or at other accredited aquariums.
“Here at the National Aquarium, we value our DC venue’s rich history as the nation’s first public aquarium, and we are committed to maintaining a presence in the capital, where a public aquarium has existed since the late 1800s,” said Tamika Langley Tremaglio, National Aquarium, Washington, DC, Board Chair.
A task force of National Aquarium Board members is exploring opportunities and funding options that would support this goal. The closure will not impact the operation of National Aquarium, Baltimore, one of the nation’s leading aquariums.
Established in 1873, the National Aquarium, Washington, DC, first opened its doors to visitors in 1885 with a collection of 180 species of fish, reptiles and other aquatic animals.
401 F Street, NW
A few weeks ago we learned Hill Country’s Backyard BBQ was coming to the west lawn of the Building Museum at 4th and F St, NW. The BBQ operates Wednesday through Friday from 4–11 pm, Saturdays from Noon–11 pm and Sundays from Noon–9 pm. I was able to attend the kickoff last Friday. As a fan of the brick and mortar Hill Country located at 410 7th St, NW – I love this new outdoor option. For me, this is all about drinking cold beers and listening to live music outdoors (note – I believe the live music will only be Friday and Saturdays.) For those who work in the area this is going to be a phenomenal happy hour spot. Anyone else stop by yet?
Lots more photos after the jump. (more…)
Streets of Washington, written by John DeFerrari, covers some of DC’s most interesting buildings and history. John is the author of Historic Restaurants of Washington, D.C.: Capital Eats, to be published this September by the History Press, Inc. John is also the author of Lost Washington DC.
One of the stateliest private buildings in Washington is the old Masonic Temple at 13th Street and New York Avenue NW, completed in 1908 and now home to the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Like other Masonic temples, the imposing structure was built with unique cross purposes; it was meant to be both a public forum for lectures and performances as well as a private place for the fraternal order’s meetings and rituals. Since the 1980s, this distinctive Renaissance Revival palace has had a remarkably fitting second life as a museum, and now the NMWA is looking to preserve the building for many more years with much-needed roof repairs. As a participant in the Partners in Preservation program, the museum will be hosting a festive open house this Sunday, May 5, from 12 to 5, offering a great, free opportunity to see this extraordinary building up close and appreciate the art it now displays.
Photo by the author.
The sharp-eyed visitor will notice decorative touches denoting the building’s original use as a Masonic Temple. Freemasonry is a centuries-old tradition descended from medieval stone masons’ guilds, although modern masons are a strictly fraternal order dedicated to benevolent acts. Masons organize themselves into lodges, which are chartered by regional Grand Lodges. DC got its own Grand Lodge in the mid 19th century. In 1870 it built a temple, still standing, at 9th and F Streets NW, but by the 1890s, with 49 Masonic lodges chartered throughout the city, the old hall was no longer adequate. The Masons resolved to build a magnificent new temple at a suitably prestigious location.
The site selection committee received some 20 offers for sites all around the city, and in 1899 they chose the distinctive trapezoidal corner lot formed by New York Avenue, 13th Street, and H Street NW, a prominent location that would allow unobstructed vistas of the new temple on three sides. The lot, once a knoll with a clump of trees known as “Seven Oaks,” cost $115,000.
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401 F Street, NW
We first heard about it last year but now it’s really happening! From a press release:
Hill Country Barbecue Market Washington, D.C. is pleased to announce the opening of Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue, a unique branded outdoor experience featuring Hill Country’s award-winning Texas-style barbecue, ice-cold Shiner beers, and signature cocktails on the spacious and picturesque West Lawn of the National Building Museum (401 F Street, NW; www.nbm.org; 202.272.2448). Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue is scheduled to open on May 3, 2013, with a live performance by fun and feisty Americana rock n’ rollers, the Kalob Griffin Band. Throughout the spring and summer, Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue will also feature live American roots music on Friday and Saturday nights, presented by Hill Country Live, Hill Country’s Austin-inspired music program.
“Hill Country Barbecue is excited to be teaming up with the National Building Museum to create the ultimate backyard barbecue for Washingtonians who love to be outside when the weather is warm,” said Jim Foss, Hill Country Barbecue Market’s director of operations. “There’s really no experience that can top a night hanging out on the lawn with friends, having some delicious barbecue with an ice-cold beer, and listening to music during the summer!”
“Hill Country Barbecue will energize our West Lawn, a green space in the heart of downtown Washington, and will complement the Museum’s Mini Golf exhibition and other ‘Summer Block Party’ offerings,” said Chase W. Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum.
Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue menu will include some of Hill Country Barbecue Market’s signature dishes, as well as a Barbecue Chicken Sandwich and Barbecue Beef Sandwich, and the brand-new Hill Country Hot Links, a house-made spicy and sweet frankfurter-style sausage.
The menu will also include picnic-friendly sides like Confetti Coleslaw, Potato Salad, and Mini Skillet Cornbread. A selection of Shiner beers, including the Bock, Light Blonde, Premium and Ruby Redbird, as well as hand-crafted cocktails like the Hill Country Margarita, seasonal fruit Sangria, and Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue signature cocktail, the Porch Swing, made with gin, strawberry simple syrup and fresh lemon juice for a refreshing cocktail you can sip outside all day. Rounding out Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue menu are non-alcoholic options including fresh-squeezed Lemonade and Iced Tea.
Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue will operate Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. to catch the after-work, happy hour crowd during the week as well as museum visitors on weekends. Additionally, Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue will be available as a premiere outdoor, private-event venue for corporate events, summer associate parties, fundraisers, birthday parties, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and more. The National Building Museum is open to the public from 10 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and 11 am – 5 pm on Sundays.
Photo by PoPville flickr user mosley.brian
The following was written by Sarah Katz-Hyman. Sarah is a student at University of Maryland and lives in College Park.
I visited some of my favorite museums (only three on this day) and here are my “oldy but goody” exhibits and “new and exciting.” This list is by no means exhaustive, so please share some of your favorite exhibits from these museums and others.
Oldy but Goody: The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age
The Wright Brother’s famous first flight occurred in 1903, and now in 2013 we have another rover on Mars, satellites that are reaching the end of our solar system and the ability to fly cross country in about five hours. This exhibit is classic and humbling to think about just how far flight and technology has come.
New and Exciting: Moving Beyond Earth
Who hasn’t thought about being an astronaut for at least one second (literally everyone has, especially if you just read that). This exhibit helps visitors imagine the life of an astronaut through hands-on stations, live lectures and video.
Note: Although I didn’t go this trip, if you have are able to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly you should definitely go. It’s a huge hanger with a ton of cool and important planes throughout history. Highlights for me are the Enola Gay, the Concorde and of course the Space Shuttle Discovery – all three pieces important to the history of aviation, culture and politics.
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City Kids is a new series written by Caroline. Caroline lives in Takoma, DC.
The National Building Museum is often overlooked. In a city packed to the gills with free museums, why pay for one? Especially when I’ve wandered through in the past; it’s a pretty building, but doesn’t seem to have a lot going on at first glance.
That first glance is deceiving. Any parent or caregiver who has been cooped up with a little one can tell you the value of having a safe, interesting, and large space to let that little one blow off some steam. The Building Museum is a convenient go-to.
The main atrium of the Building Museum is ornate and cavernous. It’s a warm winter respite with enough space for kids and office lunchers to each do their thing without bothering the other. When we went on a Thursday, there were foam blocks to play with in addition to open running space and a cool fountain.
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From the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s blog Eye Level:
If you visit our museum within the next year, you will be greeted on the left side of the 8th and G-street entrance by Tableau Noir (The Blackboard), done in 1970. It is on loan to the Smithsonian American Art Museum from a private collection.
I think Madam Tussauds wax museum may have finally run out of ideas…
Front Parlor courtesy of the Heurich House Museum
From an email:
The Heurich House Museum, the German brewmaster’s castle located south of Dupont Circle on New Hampshire Avenue, invites the public to its holiday open-house Candlelight Tours on Friday, December 7 or Saturday, December 8. The museum will be open from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Admission costs $15 for Adults and $5 for Children.
The mansion, often called a hidden gem of northwest Washington, will be decorated for the holiday season. Guests will enjoy performances of traditional German Christmas carols by the Alpine Singers and Washington Sängerbund at 7:00 and 8:00pm each night. The museum will serve traditional sweets donated by local German bakeries.
This annual event is a celebration of Germany’s most important holiday, and takes place in the home of the most successful German merchant in Washington, D.C. Heurich celebrated his achievements by building the mansion in Dupont Circle. A technological marvel, the home was crafted by German artisans, and is considered one of the most intact Victorian homes in the country. Museum Docents conduct weekly tours of the mansion, and it is available for special event rentals.
Heurich’s brewing company was the largest non-governmental employer in the District, and he was the world’s oldest brewer at his death at 102. From the time of the brewery’s closing in the 1950’s, there had been no other brewery in Washington, D.C. until D.C. Brau opened its doors in April 2011.
To pre-purchase tickets or for more information, please visit here.
We’ve admired The Heurich House/Brewmaster’s Castle here.
Photo of the Newseum by PoPville flickr user Sanjay Suchak
From an email:
“This Saturday, September 29th, museums nationwide will open their doors for free and local museums in DC are participating. Museum-goers can download free tickets on the Smithsonian website, which grants free admission for 2 people.
For a list of participating museums in your area and to download tickets please visit Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive.”
From a press release:
On September 22, All Points West (APW), DC’s unconventional classical chamber collective, will present a new take on Oktoberfest by performing a wide range of German music spanning the classical and popular genres at the Heurich House Museum, Washington’s 19th century “Brewmaster’s Castle.” The event will take place at the Heurich House Museum (1307 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington, DC 20036, near Dupont Metro Station) September 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the afternoon APW will perform a variety of German music in the castle garden, featuring Beethoven’s “Septet in Eb Major”, Hindemith’s “Kleine Kammermusik” for woodwind quintet, and Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music”. Smaller musical morsels will be served as well, ranging from the baroque to German pop, and even a polka or two. There will also be German beer on tap throughout the afternoon sponsored by the Representative of German Industry and Trade (RGIT), with food provided by Occasions Catering. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at: brewmastersbiergarten.eventbrite.com.
Christian Heurich, DC’s most successful brewer, was a German immigrant who built his ornate home in Dupont from 1892-1894. This home has been preserved as the Heurich House Museum, one of the country’s most intact and technologically advanced Victorian mansions. It is an ornate edifice, a monument to a bygone era of flourishes, gilding, and craftsmanship, which APW will transform through the power of music. Learn more about the museum at www.heurichhouse.org.
401 F Street, NW
Back in June we learned that the National Building Museum was going to offer mini golf over the summer. I had the chance to check it out yesterday, and it is indeed awesome. A great option to add to your list of “what do I do when it is 106 degrees outside.”
WHERE: 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; Metro: Red line to Judiciary Square and Yellow/Green lines to Gallery Place-Chinatown.
WHEN: July 4 through Labor Day during Museum hours. The Museum will have two late nights until 9 pm: Thursday, July 26 and Thursday, August 23.
WHO: The course is designed for ages 4 and up.
WHAT: A playable indoor, air-conditioned mini-golf course with 12 one-of-a-kind holes created by some of the region’s top architects, construction firms, urban planners, and designers.
COST: $5 per round per person. With purchase of full-price Museum exhibition admission ticket, the price per round is reduced to $3. Museum members play for $3. Those who want to see the course without playing can do so as long as they have exhibition admission tickets.
The holes were designed by “some of the region’s most creative architects, construction firms, urban planners, and designers.”
The following modeled on a historic map of DC was my favorite:
I never thought I’d see something cooler than the Glass Forest in the Palisades. Then I met Doug Dupin and the Palisades Museum of Prehistory (PMOP). So freaking cool. At first I was simply admiring the unusual little building and I just thought it was cool looking work shed. Turns out I was way off. Here’s the mission of PMOP:
The Palisades Museum of Prehistory (PMOP), incorporated in Washington DC, is a non-profit regional organization dedicated to promoting the awareness and preservation of prehistoric artifacts in the Palisades of Washington DC.
It is little known by most residents of our area that humans have occupied what is now the Washington, DC metropolitan area for at least 12,000 years. In particular, the Palisades of Washington DC is especially rich in the history of early humans. In light of the area’s rapid rate of development, much evidence of early man’s presence is being lost.
The PMOP will accomplish its mission by providing information, education, and archaeological guidance.
In addition to curation and preservation of prehistoric artifacts, the PMOP will assemble a library of archaeological records, maps, and surveys pertinent to the region’s prehistory. These records are now housed in disparate locations e.g. universities, National Park Service, State Historic Preservation Offices, Smithsonian archives. The localized information will be made available in the museum located in the Palisades of Washington DC.
More interest in our prehistory will hopefully allow the PMOP to organize a volunteer network that can react rapidly to events exposing our prehistory – like road works, building excavations, and erosion.
The bulk of prehistoric data remains locked up in government agencies and academic institutions. Many in the archaeological profession believe that releasing this information will encourage people to collect artifacts on federal lands. However well-intentioned, this mindset continues to exact a toll on the prehistoric record. Ignorance of history will guarantee the obliteration of the archeological record as more development continues with little regard to the people who onced lived here.
By providing the public access to the archaeological record, PMOP will boost awareness of our area’s human history. In the end, both professionals and public will benefit from the increase of knowledge.
Because our region’s prehistory spans at least 12,000 years, waves of indigenous cultures have come and gone dispersing evidence over broad geographic areas. The ravages of time have thinned much of that evidence. By recovering more evidence over a broader area, and making that information public, the PMOP hopes to raise awareness and understanding of those who lived here for thousands of years.
In terms of human evolution, the formative years of our species existed in lithic cultures. By greatly expanding the knowledge base of those cultures, the Palisades Museum of Prehistory hopes to shed light on our human nature.
And the executive director, Doug Dupin, could not be more interesting and welcoming. If you’re interested in having a look just schedule an appointment by phone 202-262-2360 or email director(at)pmop.org. Doug says he gets 1-2 visitors a week.
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Photo by PoPville flickr user Vileinist
The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located at 500 17th Street, NW.
From the Corcoran:
Community Meeting in the Mantel Room
Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.
The public is invited to a meeting about the state of planning for the future of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design. Participants will have the opportunity to express their own views about viable options to pursue.
The meeting follows an announcement made on June 5 that the Trustees have voted to explore the feasibility of relocation as one possibility for ensuring the long-term stability of the institution, its education programming, and its thriving College of Art + Design. No decisions to sell the building or relocate the museum have been made at this time.
The meeting will be live streamed on this page beginning at 6:30 p.m.
You read the Corocoran’s initial press release below:
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