Smithsonian releases list of potential locations for two new museums

Media Credit: File Photo by Sabrina Godin | Assistant Photo Editor

Congress authorized the development of two new museums in December 2020 and last week the Smithsonian Institution has released a slew of possible locations the museums could be built.

The Smithsonian Board of Regents has listed four potential locations for the new National Museum of the American Latino and Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. 

Congress authorized the development of two new museums in December 2020 and last week the Smithsonian Institution has released a slew of possible locations the museums could be built. They said in a release that the possible locations include: the Arts and Industries Building, a Northwest Capitol site, a South Monument site and a Tidal Basin site.

The Arts and Industries Building is a Smithsonian building on the National Mall next to the historic Smithsonian Castle. Both the South Monument and Tidal Basin sites are undeveloped plots under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, while the Northwest Capitol site is an undeveloped piece of land under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Capitol.

The press release states that Smithsonian leadership considered over 25 different sites before landing on the current list and per the passed museum-enacting legislation, they are required to narrow down the list to just two sites by the end of 2022. 

The Smithsonian began conducting surveys and focus groups this year with stakeholders like government leaders, educators and museum professionals to gain insight into the new locations. 

The Smithsonian is considering multiple criteria in the evaluation of each site, including location, existing site conditions, transportation, environmental factors, costs and acquisition potential. Lonnie Bunch, Smithsonian Secretary, said the process of choosing a location is “one of the most consequential decisions for a museum.”

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