Construction Starts on D.C.’s $400M Museum of the Bible

Construction of the massive Museum of the Bible, D.C.’s newest museum, started this month with the surgical demolition of a 1982 addition to the historical building at 400 Fourth St. SW. The more than $400 million project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

Construction of the massive Museum of the Bible, D.C.’s newest museum, started this month with the demolition of a 1982 addition to the historic building at 400 Fourth St., S.W. The more than $400 million project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.

Affiliates of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (owned by the Green family of Oklahoma City) purchased the building, which once housed the Washington Design Center, in July 2012 for $50 million. Over the next three years, they plan to restore, adapt and enhance it, with the result an eight-story, 430,000-square-foot facility housing the family’s significant collection of Biblical and other religious manuscripts. (The property sale was awarded second place for Best Sale – Single Asset in CPE‘s 2013 Distinguished Achievement Awards.)

Clark Construction will build the new museum. It will work on the project together with SmithGroupJJR, one of the largest architecture firms in the nation and the world. The teams developing the museum’s three primary exhibit floors include The PRD Group, BRC Imagination Arts, Jonathan Martin Creative and C&G Partners.

Located at the intersection of D and Fourth streets, the new facility will feature three permanent exhibit floors, each with 55,000 square feet of space; a grand lobby with a wall-to-wall, 200-foot LED ceiling; and a one-story rooftop addition to the neighboring office complex, to house the museum’s artifact research program. Meanwhile, the roof level will have a 500-seat theater, a garden restaurant and a 500-seat ballroom. The $400 million project also calls for the restoration of the building’s 1923 original red-brick masonry, classical features and exterior ornamentation.

The value of the collection to be housed in the new museum is estimated at approximately $800 million.

Photo credit: www.museumofthebible.org