On December 12, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed an act of Congress that established a museum with a still-unique purpose: to inspire curiosity and knowledge about the world we design and build. Since that time, the National Building Museum has welcomed millions of visitors and showcased a wide variety of critically acclaimed exhibitions and educational programs.
Our home is in the Pension Building, a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Washington, D.C., designed by Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. Completed in 1887 to house the U.S. Pension Bureau and honor the service of Union veterans of the Civil War, the building is a significant achievement of architecture and engineering. The Great Hall is especially notable, an extraordinary public space that attracts visitors from across the country and around the world.
The Museum has its own distinguished history, and a well-deserved international reputation as an essential cultural institution. Our dedicated team creates exhibitions and programs for visitors of all ages that call attention to contemporary issues such as climate change, social justice, public health, and housing. And our goal is ambitious, but never more relevant: To educate, entertain, and engage audiences about the built environment, and to challenge them to advocate for a sustainable and equitable future.
The week of December 7–12, the museum invites everyone to a pre-holiday feast of free virtual programs and events, including panel discussions and special presentations, an exhibition tour, and a Trivia Night. On December 12, our birthday, the Museum will release two videos: a behind-the-scenes tour of our collections and a celebratory video about our illustrious history. We will also make a virtual building tour available to the public. Register at our website for all programs and events.
We hope you will join us to celebrate this momentous occasion. For the full slate of events, visit go.nbm.org/calendar.
Happy Birthday to us, and Happy Holidays to you!
This celebration is made possible by:
and other generous donors.