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Stroll the Anacostia at the Building Museum

For city residents still trying to comprehend the sheer size and implications of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, the massive rebuilding effort which in the next several years will reshape the face of Washington’s “other river,” the National Building Museum is opening a new exhibit to help put the project in perspective.

Inspired by the museum’s highly successful lecture series of the same name, the first “D.C. Builds” exhibition will open on Saturday. Created in conjunction with the D.C. Planning and Transportation departments, the exhibit will explore past, current and future development of the Anacostia River waterfront.

The exhibit, which takes up two full gallery bays in the museum, will highlight ecological, social and historical aspects of the waterfront’s development. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a curatorial review of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative featuring drawings, photographs and models of specific public and private projects planned across the more than 3,000 acres of development.

“The exhibition will look at what’s happening here, what’s happening in other places, what’s the history of the waterfront, and what it was intended to be,” said Jill Dixon, director of public affairs for the museum.

“We’re trying to give a bigger overall view of the whole waterfront area, including the initiative,” she said, noting that the exhibit will also feature a few case studies of other famous waterfronts from around the country.

Those who can’t wait until Saturday can get a sneak peek of the exhibit at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, when D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (D) will preview the exhibition. In addition, there will be an opening lecture featuring renowned British architect Lord Richard Rogers and Barcelona’s chief architect, Josep Acebillo Marin.

The “D.C. Builds: The Anacostia Waterfront” exhibit is free and open to the public and runs through May 23. The museum is located at 401 F St. NW.

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