December 14, 1999
Schedule for Renovation of the National Archives Building
Washington, DC. . . The National Archives Building, the home of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and millions of other historically-valuable documents, in downtown Washington, DC, will undergo a major renovation beginning in February 2000. The research side of the building, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, will remain open for business throughout the renovation. The exhibition side, on Constitution Avenue, will close for renovation on July 5, 2001 and reopen in 2003.
The renovation of the Rotunda and the surrounding exhibition space will include: restoring the two oversized murals by Barry Faulkner depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; reconfiguring the display cases for the Charters of Freedom so that all four pages of the Constitution can be displayed (currently only the first and last pages can be displayed;) and so that the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights will be accessible to handicapped visitors; and constructing new exhibition space to showcase some of the highlights from the National Archives collection. While the Rotunda is under construction, the Charters of Freedom will be removed from their current encasements, examined by conservators, and re-encased in new airtight containers made of aluminum, titanium, and glass that will be filled with argon gas.
The renovation of the building will include updating or replacing all of the major systems: HVAC, electrical and plumbing; renovating the stack and research areas; creating a new genealogy and family history center; enlarging the microfilm research room; and building new conference and meeting spaces.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.