June 26, 2013 – Forrester Construction Company is pleased to announce that it has just completed a major renovation of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue on the National Mall, the 100-year-old museum was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold national collections and research facilities. It is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery and learning.
This $18M project, awarded to Forrester by the Smithsonian Institution, is part of a comprehensive multi-phase restoration of the museum’s aging infrastructure and was a major historic preservation effort. Among the preservation activities was the construction of a Paleobiology Lab. As part of this endeavor Forrester kept in place, and worked around, a 310-million-year-old tree fossil – one of the oldest and largest plant fossils ever collected.
The 30-month, 36,000 square feet renovation has won numerous Washington Building Congress craftsmanship awards. Construction included new exhibit spaces and renovation of the education, library, office, lab and childcare areas. Micropile foundations were put in place for a new mezzanine and structural modifications were made to support specialized artifact storage systems. Improved efficiencies involved a major overhaul of the mechanical systems and installation of blast resistant, historic replacement windows.
Areas of focus were the northeast and northwest quadrants of the building. The northeast quadrant houses the Smithsonian Library collections, Paleobiology lab and facility support areas. Among the new amenities in the northwest quadrant are telescopic theater seating, a glass-enclosed focused investigation area, modern collection-storage systems and millwork window seating.
“Forrester is proud to be part of the restoration of such a historic museum that brings discovery and education to the nation’s capital,” says Scott Forrester, Forrester’s Executive Vice President. “The renovations to the main building, including the addition of new exhibit space as well as historic preservation efforts, make this a special project for the entire Forrester team.”