September 7, 2007 - 15:00 AMTPanARMENIAN.Net
- The Armenian Genocide
Museum and Memorial (AGMM) announced today that its Building and Operations Committee signed contracts with Washington area firms specializing in museum planning and construction to begin the development and construction of a stellar museum in the historic National Bank of Washington building and adjacent properties, the Armenian Assembly of America told PanARMENIAN.Net
AGMM selected two firms previously invited to submit proposals for the site. The Committee awarded its phase one museum planning contract to the prestigious firm of Gallagher & Associates, www.gallagherdesign.com, which specializes in the planning, design and management of innovative, informative, and immerse experiences for museums, learning facilities and visitor centers. Based in the Washington area, this premier museum planning firm has steered to completion numerous projects ranging from exhibit and visitor centers at Jamestown Settlement in Virginia and the Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania, to a multimedia re-creation of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in New York. Significantly, Gallagher & Associates was also selected by the United States National Archives to showcase its vast collection of historic documents in a new permanent exhibit on the Washington Mall. The firm also designed the Montreal Holocaust Museum and has commenced master planning for the new Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum. The Gallagher proposal for AGMM was reviewed by leading scholars in the fields of Armenian and genocide studies.
The Committee also awarded a phase one contract to the firm of Martinez & Johnson Architecture, www.mjarchitecture.com, which is recognized in Washington for its expertise in the design of complex, multi-functional facilities, as well as the restoration of architecturally significant buildings. Most recently the firm renovated the Boston Opera House, regarded as a masterpiece of American Baroque architecture. Among many other projects in the District of Columbia, Martinez & Johnson renovated and converted the landmark Gothic Revival structure known as the Alban Towers facing the National Cathedral. The firm will be preparing plans for the complete renovation and restoration of the onetime bank structure, whose exterior and interior are designated as landmarks on the National Register of Historic Buildings, as well as its conversion into a public space for exhibit and community use.
Van Z. Krikorian, in his capacity as chairman of the AGMM Committee, which was fully authorized to proceed with all aspects of the project's development and operation, added: "Despite reports that this project might not get off the ground, I am delighted to inform opponents that their expectations will not be met. The Committee, Hirair Hovnanian, Anoush Mathevosian, the Armenian Assembly of America, and all of our friends are resolved to build this center in our nation's capital. Here the Armenian Genocide and its legacy will be properly memorialized and explained through innovative exhibits and a state-of-the-art museum facility. The future museum will be located at an exceptional site in the heart of Washington, steps from the White House, and will include special emphasis on the role of the United States in genocide prevention and punishment."