National Air and Space Museum Provides Update on Renovation Project

Museum Shares Names and Renderings of Final 12 Galleries To Open
January 30, 2024
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Computer-generated mockup of multiple people, of various ages and appearance, in museum gallery looking at real planes.

World War I: The Birth of Military Aviation Gallery Rendering. Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has announced the names and estimated opening timeline for the final 12 galleries to open as part of the renovation of its building in Washington, D.C.

The next round of galleries to open are “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall” and “Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight.” These two galleries will open in spring 2025, along with the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater and the museum’s entrance on Jefferson Drive along the National Mall. Additional galleries will open in phases. The museum expects that most of the remaining galleries and public spaces in the building will be open in time for the museum’s 50th anniversary, and the United States’ 250th anniversary in July 2026, with completion of the remainder soon thereafter.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

The east end of the building has been prepared for exhibition installation, and artifacts will begin moving into their new galleries later this year. Over 1,600 artifacts will be on display in the east end of the building, including many that were previously on display at the museum in Washington and have recently undergone conservation, preservation and restoration in the time since they were removed from the building for the renovation. Many other artifacts in the new exhibitions are going on display after long-term storage, are new to the museum’s collection, or were previously on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

The museum has been undergoing a multi-year renovation that began in 2018 and includes redesigning all 20 exhibition spaces, complete refacing of the exterior cladding, replacement of outdated mechanical systems and other repairs and improvements. The replacement of the stones on the building façade was completed in December 2023. Approximately 12,000 exterior stones have been replaced throughout the project. Visit the museum’s website for more information on the renovation. 

The first half of the renovated National Air and Space Museum opened in October 2022 with eight new or reimagined exhibitions, the planetarium, the museum store, and the Mars Café. Free timed-entry passes are required to visit the museum and can be reserved on the museum’s website.

The museum has received contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the creation of its new exhibitions. A full list of donors to the project thus far is available.

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. and is open every day except Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free but timed-entry passes are required to visit. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport and is open every day except Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and timed-entry passes are not required, and parking is $15.

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