National Building Museum Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Week of Free Programming

Categories: Articles, Press

For immediate release: December 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.On December 12, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed an act of Congress that established a museum with a unique purpose: to inspire curiosity and knowledge about the world we design and build. Four decades later, the National Building Museum remains the only cultural institution of its kind in the country. Over the years, the Museum has welcomed millions of visitors to enjoy a wide variety of critically acclaimed exhibitions, educational programs, and family-oriented events.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, during the week of December 7–12 the Museum will host a pre-holiday feast of free virtual programs and events, including panel discussions and special presentations, an exhibition tour, and a Trivia Night. Additionally, there will be anniversary-themed content on social media each day and special deals at the Museum Shop. On December 12, the Museum will release two videos: a behind-the-scenes tour of its collections and a celebratory video about its illustrious history. In addition, a virtual building tour will be made available.

The Museum’s home is the Pension Building, a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Washington, D.C., designed by Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. Completed in 1887 to house the U.S. Pension Bureau and honor the service of Union veterans of the Civil War, the structure is a significant achievement of architecture and engineering. The Great Hall is especially notable, an extraordinary public space that attracts visitors from across the country and around the world.

The Museum has its own distinguished history, and a well-deserved international reputation as an essential cultural institution. The Museum’s dedicated team creates exhibitions and programs for visitors of all ages that call attention to contemporary issues such as climate change, social justice, public health, and housing. And its goal is ambitious, but never more relevant: To educate, entertain, and engage audiences about the built environment, and to challenge them to advocate for a sustainable and equitable future.

The National Building Museum invites everyone to join the institution in celebrating this momentous occasion. For the full slate of events, information, and links to RSVP, visit

This celebration is made possible by CoStar Group and other generous sponsors.

Braulio Agnese,

The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, and design is important for all ages. Through exhibitions and educational programs, we show how the built world has power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.