Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
The much-anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture captured the hearts of both resident Washingtonians and tourists when it opened in September 2016. The only thing that disappointed the 1.2 million visitors who crowded this shrine during its first six months was the long lines they had to endure. At 400,000 square feet, the building houses close to 37,000 artifacts that span hundreds of years of history. Among the most attention-grabbing objects are Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac, Nat Turner’s Bible, Emmett Till’s casket, a segregation-era railroad car, and a World War II training aircraft used by pilots at the Tuskegee Institute. To further improve the guest experience, the museum revamped a disastrous ticketing system that will better serve the church groups, students, and families planning to visit the bold, copper building later this year. Advance admission passes are booked through June.