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Plunking down on a rose garden. (Sketch by Hartman Cox, Paint editing by Lydia DePillis)

Earlier this spring, George Washington University announced that real estate developer and history buff Albert H. Small had donated his entire collection of odds end ends about D.C. history, plus $5 million, for the construction of a new museum on the University’s campus. GWU is now now working towards an amendment to their campus plan to make the thing a reality, and has retained Hartman Cox Architects to do one of their characteristically classical designs for the 26,000-square-foot, four-story edifice.

There might be a little neighborhood grumbling about the fact that the museum will be plopped on top of what’s now a contemplative rose garden, but on the scale of things, something dedicated to D.C. history—-especially if it’s open to the public—-is one of the better things a university could replace it with. It’s particularly exciting because GWU, over the years, has weakened its academic programs that study the Washington region. So perhaps having a dedicated museum will catalyze more support for contemporary research.