A new museum dedicated to the history and narrative of the Bible is under construction near the National Mall in Washington DC. The Museum of the Bible, a 430,000-square-foot, eight-story cultural institution is being financed by Steve and Jackie Green, owners of the arts and crafts store chain Hobby Lobby to house their private collection of more than 40,000 rare biblical texts and artifacts. The museum will be designed to invite people of all ages and faiths to engage with the Bible via a scholarly and engaging presentation including a series of high-tech exhibits and interactive experiences.
The museum opened November 17, 2017 and is located three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
The Museum of the Bible will include a state-of-the-art lecture hall, a lobby with floor-to-ceiling interactive media wall, a performing arts theatre, a children’s area, restaurants and a rooftop garden with panoramic views of Washington DC. Distinct long-term and short-term exhibit spaces will showcase treasures of the Bible from other leading museums and collections worldwide. Artifacts from the collection have been on display via traveling exhibits in Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Springfield (MO), Vatican City, Jerusalem and Cuba.
- Explore the Bible's impact on world culture and modern-day civilization—from literature and fine arts to architecture, education and science; on film, music and family; and government, law, human rights and social justice
- Discover archaeological and historic treasures, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Torah scrolls, early New Testament texts, rare biblical manuscripts, incunables and first-edition Bibles
- Walk through a replica of first-century Nazareth, the town that Jesus knew
- Witness the preservation, translation and transmission of the Bible over time, from clay tablets revealing the earliest writings to today’s digital Bible
- "Drive Through History" on a high-definition sensory ride offering dynamic encounters with great people, places and events that changed the world
Location: 300 D St SW, Washington, DC, the former location of the Washington Design Center. The closest metro station is Federal Center SW.
First floor: Lobby, atrium, media wall, gift shop, children’s gallery and affiliated libraries, mezzanine with coffee shop
Second floor: Impact of the Bible permanent gallery
Third floor: History of the Bible permanent gallery
Fourth floor: Narrative of the Bible permanent gallery
Fifth floor: Long-term exhibit space for international museum galleries, performance hall, Museum of the Bible offices, Green Scholars Initiative offices, conference hall, research library
Sixth floor: Rooftop biblical garden, viewing gallery, ballroom, restaurant
The building’s 1923 original red-brick masonry, classical features and exterior ornamentation will be restored to its original condition. The general contractor is Clark Construction, the group behind the recent White House Visitor’s Center renovation and the new construction of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The building, originally constructed in the 1920s as a refrigeration warehouse, will be restored, adapted and enhanced with architectural plans by Smith Group JJR, the architectural firm that designed the International Spy Museum, the White House Visitor Center, Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center and are currently working on the Smithsonian's National Museum of the African American History and Culture.
Other architect and design firms involved with the museum project include The PRD Group (Smithsonian National Museum of American History, United States Botanic Garden), C&G Partners (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art) and BRC Imagination Arts (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Orlando). A team of scholars, writers and museum experts is also assembling artifacts and developing content that will appear in the museum’s primary exhibits.
Attractions Near the Bible Museum
- U.S. Capitol Building
- U. S. Botanic Garden
- National Museum of the American Indian
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- The Supreme Court
- The Library of Congress
- Eastern Market
- Folger Shakespeare Library & Theatre