New proposed designs revealed for the Washington Monument Sculpture Garden

You’ve seen the design, now for the unveiling

One of Washington DC’s most beloved public spaces will soon be significantly renovated. On Thursday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Washington Monument Trust, and Howard Hughes Corporation announced that the $250 million redesign of the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden has been approved by the Federal Arts Project, the Department of Interior and the Smithsonian. Bids were opened last week.

The budget for the project includes $90 million from the US government (the Hirshhorn receives no federal funding) and $190 million from the private sector. The Hirshhorn’s museums, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in 1959, and together they form the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. The modernization plans include a new museum, a new reading room, new bathrooms, new lighting, a new amphitheater, and a better “shopper experience,” says Brenda Taitley, executive director of the Hirshhorn. There will also be some big changes on the park’s grounds and piers.

The new library will include a kids’ room (open on weekends), a performance area for choirs and musicians, a cafe and more. The others are getting new names, too. The new National Museum of African American History and Culture will be renamed after Mrs. C. Thurmond, who served in the US Senate from 1963 to 1999, with a spot in a new library there. A planned conference center is the recipient of the Hirshhorn Museum. Even the park’s angular piers will be renamed as Washington Monument Memorial Pier.

… and new activities

Some notable changes on the park’s grounds and piers. See more on the city’s website. For more of the Smithsonian’s happenings and events through the summer, see its website.

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