Historical installation intrigues ‘House’ guests

After eight years of arguing, the new President’s House historical installation on Independence Mall is open to the curious, 24 hours a day.

More coverage:

Allen’s Lane Blog: Mass’ah Washington’s House
Previously: A president and his property
NPR coverage of the opening


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A slow but steady stream of people are coming to see what all the hype is about.

The weather was so cold Thursday that many visitors stayed only long enough to get the broad strokes — there are lots of TVs, and there’s a big hole in the middle where you can see the original foundation of the first President’s House.

For many, it exceeds expectations. “The completeness of the dig, and how they brought it to life with the visual and the sound,” said Howard Walker, who works two blocks away. “As I walked in, I saw the videos and they were playing sound loops. I thought that was pretty cool.”

For all the preliminary arguments over the slavery messaging, most visitors are initially dazzled by the technology.

“Most people are visual and don’t like to read as much,” said Teresa Johnson, visiting during her lunch hour. “So to have somebody act it out on the screen, they can understand it better.”

Jim Morgera, a tour guide, has been following the development of the city’s newest historical attraction and came to see what the hype was about.

“I was surprised it was open air, I thought some parts were going to be enclosed. So that’s something I wasn’t expecting.” he said. “In the summertime it’s going to be nice.”

Many quickly strolled through the installation, saying they will return for a more thorough visit once the weather gets a little warmer.

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