For three years, the National Children’s Museum has remained dormant, but not for much longer. This Tuesday, the museum made the announcement that they finalized the lease for a 33,000-square-foot space at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with an opening expected by March 2019. The building is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
When it opens, half of the planned permanent exhibits and half of the temporary exhibits will be available. With a cafe and gift shop, the museum’s interactive spaces will focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) subjects.
Over the next five years, the National Children’s Museum hopes to raise $25 million. Already, the museum has received a $1 million grant. The number of visitors expected each year is at least 300,000.
When the museum was founded in 1974, it was first known as the Capital Children’s Museum. In 2003, it changed its name. Its first location was in the Northeast quadrant of the city, near Union Station, before relocating to National Harbor in 2009 and later closing in 2014.
The announcement that the Reagan Building would the the museum’s next location was made in January 2017. At the time, the hope was to open the museum by the end of 2017.
Another children’s museum is also in the works in Fort Totten. By 2019, D.C. developer and philanthropist Jane Cafritz hopes to open her own children’s museum at her three-building, 520-unit project, Art Place at Fort Totten.
• National Children’s Museum sets opening, looks to raise $25M [Washington Business Journal]
• Children’s museum finds new home in the District [The Washington Post]
• National Children’s Museum’s new location will be in Reagan Building [Curbed DC]
• D.C.’s next children’s museum will be at Fort Totten, deliver 2019 [Curbed DC]