White House Historical Association Announces “The People’s House: A White House Experience”
New educational, interactive space near the White House to open in fall of 2024.
Visitors traveling to Washington, D.C. who may not get the opportunity to tour the White House will soon have access to an interactive educational experience called “The People’s House: A White House Experience,” the White House Historical Association announced Friday.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden made the announcement during the association’s biennial gala. The experience will tell the story of the Executive Mansion, its inhabitants and the people who have dedicated their careers to its functions. The space is set to open in the fall of 2024.
“‘The People’s House: A White House Experience’ will be an innovative, immersive, and educational journey – one that transports visitors to different chapters in time,” said First Lady Dr. Jill Biden during the event. “At its core, this project is about education – teaching our students about our country’s origins, bringing to life the countless people who shaped it and who made the White House into the beating heart of our democracy.”
Situated on 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the 33,000-square-foot three-floor site will feature exhibits and galleries bringing the White House and its storied history to life, according to a statement released by the White House Historical Association. Visitors will interact with a large-scale White House model, recreation of the Rose Garden, full-scale replica of the Oval Office, recreation of White House moments and more dimensional galleries combining immersive media and inventive scenic representations. And, it will be located one block away from the White House.
“I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this new chapter for the Association and share the rich history of the executive mansion with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year,” said Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, in a statement. “It’s an honor to carry out our ongoing mission to preserve the legacy of the White House and give back to the public through our new educational space.”
Located within a building recently renovated by Gensler, the firm that will be overseeing the construction and architectural designs, the new space will create an inviting experience about one of the most important institutions in the world with exhibits planned by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. The space will also feature a 1,500-square-foot flagship retail store. Above the exhibit and retail space will lie a new educational wing, designed for students and other groups to further explore the exhibit’s contents.
“This isn’t just a space where American history is observed; it’s where it is experienced in an unforgettable way,” said Nick Appelbaum, President and CEO, Ralph Appelbaum Associates in a statement. “Using new technology and media … our goal is to create a meaningful connection between the broader story of our nation and the individual experiences of each visitor."
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