Monday, April 11, 2011

Historial Society building to become a welcome center?

The building that is an event space and museum across from the Convention Center may soon be a new D.C. Visitor's Center.

The building is currently owned by the Historical Society of D.C., and was originally a Carnegie Library, and served as D.C.'s central library until 1970.  It is currently used for many large events and holds the Historical Society's exhibits and a research library.  Meanwhile, its location is getting better and better.  It is already next to the Convention Center and soon will be next to the new Marriott Marquis hotel and City Center.

According to The Triangle Blog, there has been a host of plans for the building, including another restaurant.  However, the plan is to draw more tourists from the national mall up into D.C. neighborhoods, like Penn Quarter and Mount Vernon Triangle, according to the Washington Post.   Of course, there are also a million visitors a year to the Convention Center, so the location makes sense.

The Chamber currently operates a private visitor's center in Penn Quarter on 9th Street.  Previously, they operated one at the Ronald Reagan Center, but because of its low visibility (and high security) it suffered low attendance. 

The Washington Convention and Sports Authority, which oversees the city’s convention and tourism business, is negotiating with the Historical Society to buy the building for the visitor's center conversion.

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