Sunday, February 06, 2011

We Love Washington, DC, #10

Today Caleb and I and some friends visited the Newseum (Kenny and Isaac will get their chance next weekend).  I first visited the Newseum almost a decade ago in its original location across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia.  I remember thinking it was a reasonably interesting museum with some impressive displays, but I don't remember being wowed.  When the new Newseum opened on Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008, they made a lot of changes to the layout and exhibits.  They also changed it from a free museum to charging $20 for adults.  I couldn't imagine how they could get away with such a princely sum in a city where almost everything else is free.  But, we got our hands on some discount tickets and decided for half price it would be worth a visit.  

And, boy was it! 

I have rarely enjoyed a museum as much I enjoyed this one.  Despite the fact that most of the museum is geared to an older, or at least a reading audience, Caleb too enjoyed himself.  

Upon arrival I was struck by the enormity of the building -- it doesn't look that large from outside.  But, it is huge.  HUGE.  7 floors, over 250,000 sq. ft, with 15 theatres and 14 galleries to wander through.  We had some time constraints and so only managed to skim the surface of what there was to see.  But, what we saw was incredible.  Truly.  We will go back, even if we have to pay full price.  It's worth it.  Absolutely worth it.

Newseum interior (image from here).  See the full-size news chopper suspended in the air?  Caleb was immediately enthralled.
8 panels of the Berlin Wall.  Nowhere outside of Germany are there this many panels on display.
The Berlin Wall guard tower from Checkpoint Charlie.  There were originally over 300 of these towers lining the Wall.  This is the only guard tower in the US.  Just to give you some perspective, this tower is 3 stories tall and does not looked cramped inside the Newseum.  As I mentioned before, it's a massive building.
Unabomber Ted Kaczynski's cabin.  And, no, it's not a replica.
Radio antennae from the top of the World Trade Center North Tower recovered from the wreckage at Ground Zero.
I thought this was a thoughtful touch.  In various exhibits around the Newseum including the 9/11 section and the galleries devoted to Hurricane Katrina, there were boxes of tissue.  I confess to tearing up a few times myself during our visit.
There are a host of interactive activities everyone can enjoy.  Here Caleb is deciding what story he is going to report on in the Interactive Newsroom.
He chose to report on the Washington Wizards and really liked holding the microphone.  They had a script he could follow, but he is only now learning to read so we fed him some ad libbed lines.
Here is the playback of Caleb's first foray into news reporting.  He's a natural. Well, almost. 

Also on exhibit is a gallery showcasing hundreds of Pulitzer prize-winning photographs, an enormous hall displaying hundreds of the most famous headlines in newspaper history, and the front pages gallery where you can view some 80 front pages from across the country and around the globe.  Oh, and so much more.  Go visit.  Go!  You will not be disappointed.


Becky said...

I love all of your DC sights and scenes. I am going to come back to your blog when we get to DC and go see a bunch of these places. Thanks for posting things like this!

Donna said...

I used to drive past frequently, but I never stopped in. I'll add it to my DC list.

alisa and sometimes brandon said...

SUPER cool! I use the Newseum website frequently in teaching but had no idea the actual Newseum was that awesome! It's definitely on the list for next time we're visiting the sistahs in DC.

Nicol said...

Looks like a great museum! I look forward to seeing it one day.

Adrianne said...

I remember the old Newseum, not nearly so cool. But $20?? Really? Is that necessary?


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