The White House Visitor Center located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th streets will close at 4:00 pm on Sunday, July 22, for renovations and reopen in October 2013.
A temporary visitor facility will open at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion near the corner of 15th and E streets on Saturday, July 28th, and remain open until the renovations are completed. The rehabilitation project is a public-private partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and the White House Historical Association, a nonprofit NPS partner since 1961.
The revamped Visitor Center will include interactive exhibits and a model of the White House as well as a new permanent museum gallery, a temporary exhibit area, an improved book sales area, visitor information facilities, and opportunities for children and families to connect to the White House and President’s Park history in new ways.
In addition to revitalizing the space to improve visitors’ educational experience, the design priorities include making the experience accessible to all, protecting and enhancing the historic space, and incorporating sustainability principles. SmithGroup (901 K Street), an architecture and engineering firm, developed the project’s designs.
The Visitor Center opened in 1995. Operated by NPS, it is located in Baldrige Hall of the humungous Herbert Hoover Building (1450 Pennsylvania Avenue), which houses the U.S. Department of Commerce.