Saving History Saturday – African American Civil War Memorial Museum Is Expanding

Just last week, the African American Civil War Memorial Museum made a major announcement and held a groundbreaking ceremony – to greatly expand their museum in Washington, DC.

The African American Civil War Memorial is shown with the Grimke Building just behind. (Courtesy of the African American Civil War Memorial Museum)

By 2020, the museum will increase its size from 800 square feet to 10,000 square feet, allowing them to build upon their mission “to correct a great wrong in history that largely ignored the enormous contributions of the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops in ending slavery and keeping America united under one flag.”

To accomplish this, the museum itself has secured a permanent home in the historic 1870 Grimke School after they and partner Community Three Grimke, LLC purchased the site from the city government. The school itself is special to African American history, because it was one of the first public schools in Washington, DC for African Americans. Via a 99-year-lease, the African American Civil War Memorial Museum will have a home forever tied to the history of such an important community.

According to their website, the museum “will continue to operate on a daily basis in its current location, 1925 Vermont Ave. NW with a seamless transition to the new space in the fall of 2020.” They plan to expand their exhibits and house a state-of-the-art theater.

To find more information, donate, and stay updated on the renovation progress, please visit

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