Wayne Clough, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, detailed a plan on Monday to transform the 1881 Arts and Industries building into an education center, with programming that would emphasize the four themes outlined in the Smithsonian’s new strategic plan: biodiversity and sustainability, the American experience, exploring the universe, and valuing world cultures. The Arts and Industries building, which in the past housed temporary exhibits and has been empty since 2004, needs $65 million in structural renovations, according to Linda St. Thomas, the Smithsonian’s spokeswoman. On Monday, the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents reviewed a concept design for the building by the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Morphosis; its potential cost has not been determined, Ms. St. Thomas said. The Arts and Industries building has also been discussed as a possible site for a future national Latino museum. A presidential commission is currently studying the potential for such a museum.

Kate Taylor
New York Times

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