Official ribbon cutting on the District Architecture Center (DAC) took place November 4 in a grand celebration for AIA DC, the Washington Architectural Foundation, and its many friends and community partners that made the new center a reality. It’s terrific to finally see images from the opening party and compare the after shots to the promotional video footage exploring plans for converting raw space in the Penn Quarter into a new center for public engagement and learning. In catching up with Executive Director Mary Fitch, it was clear that the Center will greatly amplify existing programs, affording much needed space for meetings and educational functions as well as exhibitions to draw newcomers to the building. “The large meeting room on the first floor [of the Center] can hold about 225 people seated,” explains Fitch, “In our old digs, we had one room that could handle 47.”
The new space brings a few welcome changes to the everyday routine, too: “The Center is great because we can do several events simultaneously; the Center is also a challenge for the same reason. We’ve had to hire a security guard in the evenings – not because our location is particularly scary, but because our staff can no longer monitor a class and watch the door and answer questions. And, of course, once you get it built, you don’t just stop fundraising. We have so much more capacity now and consequently we have to find resources to support it.”
Congratulations to Mary and the army of volunteers and donors whose efforts have delivered a great new asset to DC. More info at http://aiadac.com/.