Zoning hearing set for textile museum construction

The University will make its case for the GW Museum at a public hearing April 5 to gain city approval for the project.

Construction on the $22 million project linking the cross-town Textile Museum with a collection of historical D.C. artifacts donated to GW last year, is set to begin by late summer, pending approval from the D.C. Zoning Commission.

West End Citizens Association secretary Barbara Kahlow said the group plans to testify at the hearing in opposition to the museum project out of concern for the level of traffic it would bring to 21st Street.

Senior Associate Vice President for Operations Alicia Knight said GW conducted a traffic study, and “the amount of activity is not something that our consultants or the University think will be problematic at all.”

GW filed its initial application to the zoning commission with sketches and plans Nov. 2 and submitted further details on the project in a pre-hearing statement Jan. 20.

Plans to transform the University Police Department’s headquarters at the Woodhull House into a museum were unveiled last February, after collector and real estate developer Albert H. Small donated his personal cache of historical city relics to GW. His $5 million donation will facilitate renovations to turn the space into a gallery.

UPD will relocate to the Academic Center, a move Senior Associate Vice President of Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said he expects to happen this spring or early this summer.

In July, University President Steven Knapp announced the partnership with the Textile Museum, at S and 23rd streets, calling it a testament to GW’s commitment to its “role as a vibrant center for artistic discovery and discourse.”

Knight projected that construction on the museum will be completed by spring 2014.

The four-story museum with two below-ground floors will have a main entrance on 21st Street, with a second entrance on G Street at the Woodhull House, according to the zoning documents. It will also include a gift shop.

The museums will not charge for admission.

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