Great Washington Museums: Spotlight on the National Building Museum

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the National Building Museum’s great works by women on view, Chloethiel Woodard Smith & Associated Architects’ Model for the Proposed Washington Channel Bridge. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey! 

Chloethiel Woodard Smith & Associated Architects, Model, Proposed Washington Channel Bridge, 1966; Plastic, cardboard, paper, wood, and paint; 85 x 41 ½ x 12 in.; National Building Museum, Gift of the American Architectural Foundation, 2009

Chloethiel Woodard Smith & Associated Architects, Model, Proposed Washington Channel Bridge, 1966; Plastic, cardboard, paper, wood, and paint; 85 x 41 ½ x 12 in.; National Building Museum, Gift of the American Architectural Foundation, 2009

Chloethiel Woodard Smith’s innovative proposal for the Washington Channel Bridge spanned from the Southwest waterfront to East Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.  Lined with shops and restaurants, the bridge carried only pedestrians and shuttle buses.  The design was nicknamed the “Ponte Vecchio” after the famous bridge in Florence, Italy. Smith’s proposal failed to generate significant interest among potential tenants or financiers, so the bridge was never built. On display November 19, 2011–May 28, 2012 in the temporary exhibition “Unbuilt Washington.”

One thought on “Great Washington Museums: Spotlight on the National Building Museum

  1. This is an excellent exhibit, offering considerable information about never-realized projects, some quite creative.

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