“What we can see of this building, the towering glass, the artistry of the metalwork, is surely a sight to behold.”
These were the words spoken by President Barack Obama as he inaugurated the most recent addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, this past weekend. The opening ceremonies featured musical performances and celebrations, as well as a look at the museum’s place in American history.
“This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” said Obama. “It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of the president but also the slave, the industrialist but also the porter, the keeper of the status quo but also the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo.”
Also speaking at the opening event were former President George W. Bush, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, Rep. John Lewis and Lonnie G. Bunch III, as well as prominent figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith.
Designed by David Adjaye as the leader of the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team, the 400,000 square foot building is the first national museum dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans, and includes exhibition space for the display of more than 3,000 artifacts.
Check out the video above to see the Dedication Ceremony in its entirety, and watch the video below for a timelapse of the building’s construction.