Concept Model of Exterior for the New National Air Museum
In 1958, President Eisenhower authorized the preparation of plans for the construction of a building for a National Air Museum, to be located on a site bounded by Fourth and Seventh Streets SW, Independence Avenue, and Jefferson Drive. The 1964 design by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) for "a Museum for the Space Age" was selected. However, their initial design was later modified. In July 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a bill authorizing construction of a new building for the newly-renamed National Air and Space Museum (NASM). Congressional passage of appropriations for the construction of the new museum occurred in 1971. The final design was approved in 1972 and construction began in November of 1972. The museum opened July 1, 1976.
HOK were the architects selected. However, their original design was revised and this became the final design.
See also Neg. SIA2017-018095 through SIA2017-018101 for initial design by HOK. For the 1972 final design by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), see Neg. SIA2017-018111 through 018119, SIA2017-018122 through SIA2017-018134, and 94-2479. For other designs for a proposed new National Air Museum see: United States, Public Building Administration 1949; McKim, Mead & White 1955; Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larson 1962; and HOK's preliminary design of 1964.
As viewed from Independence Avenue SW, an early concept model shows the full length exterior of the front for the new National Air Museum building (now known as the National Air and Space Museum), designed by Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum. In this design for a "Museum for the Space Age", the windows are dark, but the center window is light. The Wright Brothers airplane is visible inside the building.