DC Zoning Board Approved Armenian Genocide Museum Of America Plans


15.07.2008 16:33 GMT+04:00

The Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA) cleared another hurdle
on July 8 gaining approval from the District of Columbia’s Board of
Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for important design enhancements to the
historic National Bank of Washington building, which will house
the museum.

The five-member Zoning Board gave its unanimous approval to the
museum’s design plans to allow the addition of a modern structure
to support and facilitate visitor circulation through the museum’s
exhibit halls. The new structure allows space for the installation
of modern amenities, including public stairways, elevators, and a
lobby in an adjoining building, the Armenian Assembly of America
told PanARMENIAN.Net.

The District of Columbia Historic Preservation Review Board, which
approved the museum project on March 27, endorsed the concept of
a complete restoration of the landmark building to its original
architectural appearance, and welcomed the proposal to keep alterations
to the historically-designated building to a minimum by locating the
required modern facilities in the new addition.

"This is an exciting project and it’s nice to see that this historic
landmark is finally being put to use," said BZA Chairperson Ruthanne
Miller. Representing the Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA)
project at the BZA hearing were Gary Martinez, of Martinez and Johnson
Architecture, and Norman Glasgow, with the law firm of Holland &
Knight, who responded to technical questions regarding the zoning

The Zoning Board noted that the Advisory Neighborhood Commission
(ANC), an important community-based organization whose members are
appointed by the Government of the District of Columbia, as well as
the District’s Office of Planning, had expressed their support for the
museum’s proposed building addition. The DC ANC commissioners, as an
expression of their strong endorsement of the museum project, submitted
a letter requesting that the BZA "give great weight to our advice."

"The Zoning Board’s favorable action brings the museum another
big step closer to reality," said Van Krikorian, AGMA Trustee and
Building and Operations Committee Chairman. "We are delighted by
this latest development. The schematics for the exhibit designs are
now complete. We were fortunate to have Yerevan’s Genocide Museum
Director Hayk Demoyan with us recently in Washington to consult on
the project, and we want to sincerely thank everyone who has helped
to get the museum this far so fast."

The Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial will be located at 14th and
G Streets, NW, in Washington, DC and is scheduled to open in 2010. The
five-storey historic National Bank of Washington building is slated for
complete restoration and renovation to provide some 18,000 square feet
of exhibit space highlighting the historic identity of the Armenian
people, their culture, and their perseverance in the face of adversity.