Cleaning out the attic
The United States National Museum of American History (Washington, DC) has been long criticized for its incoherent displays of American treasures. But following a recent two-year, US$85 million renovation, the museum is now much better able to showcase its more than three million artifacts. This article profiles this renovation project, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (New York, NY) and constructed by Turner Construction (New York, NY). In doing so, it describes the key changes that the project team made to the museum, including the new exterior and interior lighting design, the display design for the flag that inspired the US national anthem, a hanging sculpture of the US flag, and the interior circulation system. It also explains how the project team protected the artifacts during construction and what unexpected discovery the team made during the renovation.