The National WWII Museum opened the doors to its latest wing and broke ground on another major project on Thursday, October 17.
The new Hall of Democracy—a $25 million, three-story addition to the museum campus—will now function as the museum’s education nucleus; it contains a research library, media center, exhibition space, museum collections, classrooms, and an auditorium.
The hall will serve as the hub for the museum’s distance-learning programs through a new WWII Media and Education Center, in which the museum will also produce podcasts and other digital content, including the digitization of veterans’ accounts of the war.
It also features a new exhibit space—the 3,764-square-foot Senator John Alario Jr. Special Exhibition Hall—which is opening with “Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann.” The exhibit uses photographs, film, and recently declassified spy artifacts to trace the war criminal’s disappearance, capture, extradition, and trial following the war. It’s on display through January 5, 2020.
Additional features include the Madlyn and Paul Hilliard Research Library, which is open to the public by appointment, and the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, a new home for the museum’s research department.
The museum also broke ground on Thursday on the Liberation Pavilion, the final major piece of the museum’s massive six-acre campus, to be completed in 2021. Its construction is part of the museum’s $400 million capital projects campaign that began in 2015.
That pavilion will house three floors focused on the Holocaust and the end of the war, exploring “why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today,” according to a press release. It will include an interfaith chapel, multimedia installations, and an “advanced cinematic experience.”
The museum’s footprint in the Warehouse District will expand later this year with the opening of the Higgins Hotel & Conference Center, which will complete the museum’s dominance at the intersection of Andrew Higgins Boulevard and Magazine Street.
Developers broke ground on the $66.5 million hotel and 22,000-square-foot conference center in 2017. It will feature 234 rooms, several ballrooms and meeting rooms, the first-floor bar Kilroy’s, Cafe Normandie restaurant, and rooftop bar Rosie’s on the Roof.