December 2, 2019 – March 2020
Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020. The Museum’s historic home, however, is much older, first opening its doors in 1885 as the United States Pension Building. Designed by former U.S. Army Quarter Master General Montgomery C. Meigs, the structure included a fresh air ventilation system, plenty of daylight for employees and visitors, and a magnificent Great Hall dominated by eight of the world’s tallest Corinthian columns.
Much of this Italianate Renaissance Revival landmark was renovated in the early 1980s. Since then, it has undergone various upgrades and minor repairs. But beginning December 2019, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will oversee a more extensive project to ensure the long-term preservation of the structure.
The Museum will close to the public from December 2, 2019, through spring 2020 to safely replace its concrete floor with a modern foundation—with the overall goal of preserving the integrity of the building. We invite our Members and visitors to follow the process online to learn more about this unique preservation project. We look forward to building on our 40 years of progress with a new foundation and by continuing to inspire curiosity about the built environment for another 40 years—and beyond.