This week the Lillian & Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum officially took ownership of the new museum’s construction site from Property Group Partners. Executive Director Kara Blond made the announcement in a blog post published on July 27 on the museum’s website. She also outlined the project’s next steps and plans for each floor.
The plan calls for using the first floor of the former Adas Israel Congregation building to host an exhibition gallery retelling the building’s history. Completed in 1876, the synagogue has at one time served as a soap store, a barbershop, BBQ restaurant and more. Last year it was moved to the museum’s site at the southwest corner of 3rd and F Streets.
Blond wrote that the museum plans to work with film producers to create a “transformative multimedia experience” that will be housed in the synagogue’s sanctuary on the second floor. The exhibit will feature touchable objects, snippets of oral histories, archival photos and film projected onto every surface of the room in a “360-degree immersive theater experience.” The building’s third floor will feature a changing exhibition.
The museum’s core exhibition will showcase the civic engagement of the capital’s Jewish community. It will feature the different roles Jews have played in shaping the District, such as lawyering, lobbying, voting, reporting and running for office.
Next week the museum plans to finalize its bank loan and award construction of the new museum to Consigli Construction. A groundbreaking event is set for Sept. 14. Plans call for the museum’s doors to open to the public in spring 2022 after 18 months of construction.