Newseum

 

This 250,000-square-foot museum of news and journalism features seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It has 14 major galleries and two television studios, with a mile-and-a-half long exhibit route. Its 15 theaters range from delightfully intimate to quite large, the largest of which seats 535 visitors, another has a 90-foot-long video news wall. The Newseum also features a food court and a two-level store. In addition to the Newseum, the building includes a two-level, 24,000-square-foot conference center; the Freedom Forum offices; a three-level restaurant; and more than 140,000 square feet of residential apartments. The building’s total area is 643,000 square feet. Design and construction costs came to approximately $450 million. Each of the two portions of the project has a separate electrical system, complete with separate utility feeds, electrical rooms and distribution equipment. The nine-level museum portion is serviced by three 4000 amp main switchboards. The apartment portion, which has 12 floors plus a penthouse, is serviced by three switchboards of 2000, 3000 and 4000 amps. The museum portion required 8700+ fixtures plus 8500+ linear feet of track / linear / LED lighting in ceilings ranging in height from eight to 50 feet. (The residential portion required another 4300+ fixtures.) But in many of the artistic Newseum ceilings – which were a combination of metal, wood and fabric – the Mona crews could not install the fixtures unless they were working in actual physical tandem with the ceiling installation contractors. That, of course, was another coordination hurdle. The main gallery has many interesting features, one being eight sections – 60 tons' worth – of the original Berlin Wall, complete with original graffiti. There is a mangled and provocative metal tower that once broadcast radio and television signals from atop the World Trade Center, the door that the Watergate burglars rigged to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the script from the first 60 Minutes broadcast. TV's first news helicopter is frozen in flight high in the Newseum atrium.