Ford's Center for Education and Leadership
Photos by Dan Poyourow
Ford's theatre society center for education and leadership
This Center is the creative adaptation of a ten-story office structure located on historic 10th Street NW. This project combines a world-class museum on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln with a state-of-the-art classroom center for academic research and study of the lasting effect he has had on world leaders today. It is the third building in a developing campus of structures which include Ford’s Theatre, an additional exhibition area on the assassination, and the Petersen House where Lincoln died.
The challenge and opportunity of the project was to knit the various educational uses of the building together in a manner which respects the original structure and yet still engages a contemporary audience in a meaningful and transparent manner. The creation of a four-story atrium lobby allowed visual communication between all of the significant levels of the building and is highlighted with a towering book stack which provides a sculptural representation of all the scholastic writings produced on Lincoln and his presidency.
In order to meet the challenging schedule of the project, a phased construction approach was utilized. The first phase encompassed exterior repairs to the all-concrete structure and was executed while the building was still occupied. Early permit packages for this work were produced and certified third party permit reviewers were engaged to expedite the permit process. The second phase of interior structural modifications and improvement was initiated over the summer.
The building opened in late 2010 with accolades all around. The first floor retail was thoughtfully laid out and serves the patrons well. The educational museum incorporated world class technology with engaging displays of artifacts and information, and the upper floors are facilitating the professional and educational accomplishments of the Fords Theatre Society.