On November 17, a brand new museum is set to open in Washington, D.C., that hopes to foster further dialogue on one of the most read books in the world, the Bible. The 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible will span across eight floors with a biblical garden, grand ballroom, and a restaurant by Chef Todd Gray, called Manna.
$42 million worth of cutting edge technology will also be featured with a digital entry arcade ceiling, a digital guide accessible through a smart phone app, and a 360-degree projection mapping employed in the 472-seat performing arts theater.
Curbed DC was able to get a quick peek inside the brand new museum, which is located at 400 4th Street SW. Below, get a photo tour of what to expect.
Before entering the building, guests will be able to find two 40-foot-tall replica “Gutenberg Gates” at the entrance. Each bronze structure weighs over 12 tons and bears the words of Genesis 1:1-31 in Latin, as found in the Gutenberg Bible. Before landing in front of the Museum of the Bible, the gates were toured around the nation, from Los Angeles to Nashville to Oklahoma City and then to New York City.
Once inside the museum, there is a 140-foot-long digital arcade ceiling, reportedly one of the largest horizontally mounted digital screens in the U.S. There are a total of 555 LED panels hung there.
Finally, the first floor also features a museum shop, children’s gallery, and two smaller galleries for exhibits.
There are three main sections of this museum, each discussing the impact, narrative, and history of the Bible. In this floor, it’s all about the impact. This might be the most interactive floor out of all of them, offering tablets for learning about stories and even a room, called the Joshua Machine, for recording one’s own religious experiences.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the stories in the Bible—and for those who simply want to see them come alive—this floor is all about showcasing what life may have been like during the Biblical times. There are paintings, food displays, and videos.
Let’s take a look at the history of the Bible. Here, there are a variety of artifacts displayed from ancient Near Eastern cultures, dating as far back as 3,200 BC. Throughout, there are videos as well as interactive tablets for learning about the artifacts found here.
In the section with the alleged Dead Sea Scroll fragments, there are signs that read, “Scientific analysis of the ink and handwriting on these pieces continues.” In a “Book of Books” section, there are seven variations of the Bible shown, from the Jewish Bible to the Assyrian Bible.
This floor includes the World Stage Theater and three upper galleries. Unfortunately, none of the areas on this floor were open. Move along.
On the top floor, there is the Manna restaurant, the biblical garden, and the ballroom. There are also nearly 360-degree monumental views of the city. Can you spot the Washington Monument?