Saturday, February 14, 2015

Newseum

Date of Visit: February 14, 2015

I have been to the Newseum a few times including when it used to be in Rosslyn and the day it opened on Pennsylvania Avenue, but Mik had never been. While I knew it was a well-done museum, the tickets are kind of expensive, so it kept getting pushed down on our list to do. The opening of a temporary exhibit about Lincoln, though, quickly moved it to the top because Mik particularly likes Civil War history.

We enjoyed the whole museum and found it to be well designed to go through. It's mainly designed that you go down one level, then go to the top floor (6th), and work your way back down. There's elevators on both ends of the building (the three in the middle only go to Concourse and 6th) that make it efficient to go through the museum without backtracking much, although we did find ourselves going backwards through some exhibits.


Mik's favorite part was the Berlin Wall Gallery, which I remember as always being an impressive thing to see. He liked seeing the wall pieces and guard tower, but it was the whole experience with the videos about the wall and how news played a role in that period that really made it a history come to life kind of thing that captivated him.


It was too cold to enjoy the Greenspan Terrace from outside, but Mik did like that you could read the signs from inside (or at least you could because no one else was up to venturing outside to block them). The timeline history of the avenue is pretty interesting and with the walls of windows you can enjoy most of the great view of some of the major landmarks in D.C. from the climate controlled indoors, too.


The "President Lincoln is Dead" exhibit was another highlight. It was interesting to see the different editions of the New York Herald that provided new information as the story of Lincoln being assassinated and the hunt for Booth evolved. In particular, we found it fascinating that all editions said assassination and at that time the word only meant a secret attack and not that he was necessarily killed (in fact, he was still alive during the first couple editions). It wasn't until after Lincoln that the word became known as we think of it today.


Mostly Mik wasn't interested in the NBC News Interactive Room, but I convinced him to try out one of the touchscreen stations (they have several with no seats for wheelchairs to roll into) and he actually had fun with the trivia game.

Overall a fun museum to explore at least once, but it still is on the pricey side and not likely to go back anytime soon even though the upcoming Reporting Vietnam exhibit does appeal to Mik (kind of wished we waited for it to be open since the Lincoln one is through January 2016). Only exhibit Mik found disappointing with the FBI one, as it didn't seem to really tie in the news influence into it as well as the other exhibits.

Destination Info:


Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20001

555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001 - See more at: http://www.newseum.org/visit/#sthash.soxnjIVn.dpuf
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001 - See more at: http://www.newseum.org/visit/#sthash.soxnjIVn.dpuf

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

National Building Museum: Designing for Disaster

Date of Visit: February 3, 2015

The "Designing for Disaster" exhibit explores the damage of natural disasters and how to make communities more resilient to disasters. The exhibit features a variety of photos, videos, and interactive displays. Mik found this a really enjoyable exhibit, especially the parts on earthquakes and air natural disasters (hurricanes and tornadoes).

One of the first things that captured Mik's attention was in the first room they had the video of the 1989 World Series playing in which it suddenly cut out because an earthquake caused a loss of power.

Mik's favorite part was the wind tunnel interactive display in the air natural disasters section. Here you choose what type of roof and which direction to put it on the house related to where the wind would come from. Then you could press a button for the wind to be relative to a category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 hurricane. First he hit the one. Then he went all the way to five and thought it was cool how it showed the effect of the roof blowing off. Also, he noted that it was nice that the display was designed on a table surface that he could easy roll under to use.

This exhibit is on display through August 2, 2015.

Destination Info:
National Building Museum
401 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Accessibility Note:  The accessible entrance to the museum is G Street. The Judiciary Square Metro (Red) is the closest, but since we live near Yellow Line we find the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro (Yellow/Green/Red) more convenient as it is faster/easier to just walk/roll an extra block or so than transferring to Red Line for one stop. More details in our first review of the museum here.

Our Other Current National Building Museum Exhibit Posts

National Building Museum: HOT TO COLD an odyssey of architectural adaptation

  
Date of Visit: February 3, 2015

The "HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation" exhibit features over 60 architectural models suspended from the balconies of the Great Hall. As the Great Hall area is open to the public, you can view most of the exhibit without paying admission. With admission, though, you can go into the second floor gallery that includes more models and videos.


The exhibit is mainly experienced walking around the 2nd floor balcony, but from the first floor you can also look up and see symbols and colors on the bottom that reflect how they represent locales from hot to cold climates.


Mik enjoyed checking out the various models. Of most interest to him was the Phoenix Observation Tower (i.e. Big Pin), which is proposed for near Chase Field. I thought it was absurd, but he thinks it could be a cool way to watch a baseball game (seems too high a view for that).


The Smithsonian South Mall campus plan and St. Petersburg Pier idea were some of our other favorite models.


This exhibit is on display through August 15, 2015.

Destination Info:
National Building Museum
401 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Accessibility Note:  The accessible entrance to the museum is G Street. The Judiciary Square Metro (Red) is the closest, but since we live near Yellow Line we find the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro (Yellow/Green/Red) more convenient as it is faster/easier to just walk/roll an extra block or so than transferring to Red Line for one stop. More details in our first review of the museum here.

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