Designed by the architecture firm, Wood, Donn & Deming, the Classical Revival-style building was constructed originally as a temple for the Masons—an organization that did not allow women members.
NMWA purchased the historic 78,810 square-foot building located in downtown Washington, D.C., and began extensive renovations to open to the public on April 7, 1987.
The museum hired renowned architectural firm Sandra Vicchio & Associates to conduct a preservation study of the building. Vicchio and her team presented an initial Facilities Preservation Plan to NMWA’s Board.
A record-breaking blizzard damaged the main building’s roof. Within days, Sandra Vicchio and a team of engineers and contractors secured the structure and began planning the restoration of the roof and cornice.
A revised facilities preservation plan was presented to the Board.
The Board passed a motion to proceed with (1) a predesign phase to answer critical questions about the project; and (2) a feasibility study for a possible capital campaign.
The Board formed a Capital Campaign Steering Committee, and leadership gift fundraising began.
The Board approved a $66 million project goal. The campaign passed the $50 million mark, achieving 75% of the goal.
August 9, 2021
The museum’s building will close to the public. NMWA staff will move operations out of the building while off-site and online programming continue.
September 1, 2021
The newly renovated building reopens to the public with a series of celebratory events for members, campaign donors, and the community.