UNITED STATES NEWS

The White House Historical Association is opening a technology-driven educational center in 2024

Nov 3, 2023, 5:00 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House tour is practically a must-do when visiting Washington, but the experience can leave some guests wondering about spaces they didn’t get to see, like the Oval Office.

The White House Historical Association hopes to provide answers to some of those questions when it opens The People’s House: A White House Experience, in the fall of 2024.

Situated on three floors of a building a block from the White House at Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street, the $30 million educational center will use cutting-edge technology to teach the public about the storied executive mansion and its history.

“This will be a technology-rich, immersive experience where you will actually go into spaces and, due to the miracles of modern technology, those spaces will become White House rooms around you,” Stewart McLaurin, the association’s president, told The Associated Press before a public announcement planned for Friday.

The center will feature a large cutaway model of the White House with rooms that, with the help of technology, can morph into the Green Room, the Blue Room or the Red Room. A full-scale replica of the Oval Office will reflect the incumbent president’s décor. A recreation of the Rose Garden will offer the experience of strolling through its blooms.

Upstairs galleries will allow visitors to experience the Cabinet Room, the State Dining Room and the movie theater. Another gallery will teach about the many unseen people — ushers, chefs, florists, butlers, housekeepers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters — who care for the White House and keep it functioning in its multiple roles as a home for the president and his family, an office for the president and his staff, a ceremonial stage and a museum.

People will also learn about the slave labor that went into building the White House.

McLaurin said The People’s House is meant to be a free enhancement for people who tour the White House, but it also will be an option for those who are unable to land a tour ticket.

“When you have a tour of the White House, as wonderful as that is, because it is a working home and office, those are rather limited and you go through and you see the spaces and you have the experience of being there,” he said. “But you’re not able to linger there to really understand what happened in this space.”

Plans for the The People’s House were revealed to donors attending the association’s premiere fundraising gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Thursday. First lady Jill Biden praised the project before the crowd at the private event., which was also attended by actors Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen. Both have played presidents on TV and film.

“At its core, this project is about education,” she said. “Teaching our students about our country’s origins, bringing to life the countless people who shaped it and who made the White House into the beating heart of our democracy.”

“As an educator, I believe that our present and our future are inextricably linked to our past,” she continued. “And when we learn from the past, we come away changed, not just better informed, but with a deeper understanding of the responsibility we hold as citizens of this country, a responsibility to each other, to our democracy and to upholding our freedoms.”

“I think that’s needed now more than ever, at a time when our institutions are increasingly under attack, and some of our leaders seem intent on burying our history,” Biden added.

The center will be open seven days a week, McLaurin said.

The association is privately funded so “people can come to our experience even if the government has to close for whatever situation arises,” he said.

About 500,000 people visit the White House yearly, McLaurin said. He said he hopes the new center will attract even more visitors than that.

Besides the $30 million construction cost, the association is raising an additional $50 million for an endowment to fund operations, he said.

The center will also incorporate a feature that the association has long wanted: an educational wing with classroom space for up to 200 students.

The White House Historical Association was created in 1961 by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy to help preserve the museum quality of the interior of the White House and educate the public. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that receives no government funding. It raises money mostly through private donations and sales of retail merchandise.

United States News

Associated Press

UN approves more transparent procedures for people and entities to get off its sanctions lists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved more transparent procedures Friday for the hundreds of individuals, companies and other entities who are subject to U.N. sanctions and want to get off the blacklists. The resolution, co-sponsored by Malta and the United States, also authorizes the establishment of a new informal working […]

4 minutes ago

FILE - Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Dec. 13...

Associated Press

Longtime US Rep Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who had pancreatic cancer, has died

Longtime U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who helped lead federal efforts to protect women from domestic violence and recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, has died. She was 74. Lillie Conley, her chief of staff, confirmed Friday night that Jackson Lee, who had pancreatic cancer, had died. The Democrat had represented her Houston-based […]

7 minutes ago

Stools line the bar at Elwood's Liquor and Tap on Thursday, July 18, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wis. This w...

Associated Press

Outside the RNC, small Milwaukee businesses and their regulars tried to salvage a sluggish week

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jay Nelson was standing outside the convenience store he manages in downtown Milwaukee when one of his regular customers walked by on her daily stroll around the neighborhood. “I’ve been telling people to come and buy even just a bottle of wine,” she said, stretching out her arms. “I hope it helps.” […]

23 minutes ago

Descendants of Nelson Bell, brothers Milford Fonza, front left, and Elmer Fonza, front right, surro...

Associated Press

In a California gold rush town, some Black families are fighting for land taken from their ancestors

COLOMA, Calif. (AP) — In a tiny town where the California gold rush began, Black families are seeking restitution for land that was taken from their ancestors to make way for a state park now frequented by fourth graders learning about the state’s history. Their efforts in Coloma, a town of around 300 people that’s […]

24 minutes ago

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands listening to the verdict in a glass cage of a ...

Associated Press

Russia convicts US journalist of spying in a trial widely seen as politically motivated

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was convicted Friday of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in a maximum-security prison on charges that his employer and the U.S. government have rejected as fabricated.

30 minutes ago

An image of President Joe Biden is projected on a screen during the final night of the 2024 Republi...

Associated Press

Biden’s ability to win back skeptical Democrats tested at a perilous moment for his campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a week of campaign stops, interviews and a determined insistence he is the best candidate to confront Republican Donald Trump, President Joe Biden’s efforts to revive his reelection bid and win over skeptical Democrats have done little to soften the push for him to exit the 2024 race. Biden has weighty […]

31 minutes ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

The White House Historical Association is opening a technology-driven educational center in 2024