Smithsonian on the Hunt for Building Plans for African American Museum

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The Smithsonian has been working on The National Museum of African American History and Culture for years now, but only on a background level, trying to assemble exhibits, financing, and figuring out exactly what the thing will be when it opens some seven years from now. Though now it looks like they’re kicking off the process to get a building in place, as they’ve just put out a call for architects to pitch ideas. Here’s a bit:

Under government procedures, the museum issued a formal request for architects to submit initial ideas for the project by Sept. 19. Submissions will be narrowed down to between three and seven firms for a design competition.

The Smithsonian already has heard from hundreds of architectural, engineering and consulting firms interested in the project, said Sheryl Kolasinski, director of Smithsonian planning and project management.