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National Building Museum Washington DC

National Building Museum

When most people think of a museum, they are likely to think of the things exhibited there—paintings, Moon rocks, totem poles, or other objects of artistic, scientific, or cultural value. Of course, the National Building Museum has always offered visitors the chance to see many interesting objects, from drawings by famous architects to a full-scale, sustainable house built in our own galleries. Indeed, the care, interpretation, and thoughtful display of such artifacts are central to our mission.
The Museum is, however, much more than a repository of things, beautiful and intriguing though they may be. It is above all a forum for the development, exploration, and exchange of ideas. Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum has become one of the world’s most prominent and vital venues for informed, reasoned debate about the built environment and its impact on people’s lives. Our exhibitions, educational programs, and publications are well regarded not only for their capacity to enlighten and entertain, but also as vehicles for fostering lively discussion about a wide range of topics related to development, architecture, construction and engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

The National Building Museum’s impact is evidenced by the broad smiles of children taking part in our innovative, hands-on youth programs, to the rave reviews our exhibitions routinely receive from our peers, to the comment from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was moved to write an unsolicited letter congratulating us on our ability “to capture the essence of our nation’s rich history as well as the promise of its bright future.”

The members, trustees, and staff of the National Building Museum share a belief that the world we build is a reflection of the aspirations, achievements, and conflicts that shape our society. Furthermore, because we believe that every American can play a part in the continual improvement of our built environment, we strive not just to illuminate the past and present, but to give professionals and laypeople alike the intellectual raw materials with which to construct the best possible future. We invite you to join us in that ongoing and rewarding endeavor.

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