Newseum Opening Day

The Newseum opened on Pennsylvania Avenue on April 11, 2008. (Sam Kittner/Newseum)

In 2000, the Freedom Forum began plans to move its popular museum, the Newseum, from its location in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River to downtown Washington, D.C.

One of the primary tools used by the Freedom Forum to champion the First Amendment, the original Newseum was closed on March 3, 2002, to allow the organization to concentrate on building a state-of-the-art, dazzling museum.

Led by founder Al Neuharth and a team of executives from the Freedom Forum, a landmark location at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., was obtained. The Newseum board selected noted exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum and architect James Stewart Polshek to work on the new project.

Highlights of the building design, which was unveiled in October 2002, include a façade featuring a “window on the world” which looks out on Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall while letting the public see inside to the visitors and displays. The front of the Newseum features the 45 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution etched into a 75-foot-tall tablet of Tennessee pink marble facing Pennsylvania Avenue.

The new museum opened its doors to the public to great fanfare on April 11, 2008.

Since opening, the Newseum has garnered outstanding reviews from media professionals, travel leaders, educators and hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world and positioned itself as a leading champion of free expression in the world today.