The Smithsonian Institution has another winner on its hands, and so does the Nation.
Monday, Dec. 15 marked the opening day for the National Air and Space Museum's new facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Since it is located on the property surrounding Dulles International Airport (actually, it is on leased land owned by the airport), Rob and I decided to stop by late Monday afternoon and see if it is all that and a bag of chips.
Despite the fact that it isn't nearly completed (lots more exhibits coming in over the next months), it is an amazing place. I found the architecture appropriately grand but subdued, allowing us to focus on the contents of the facility, which are themselves amazing.
Entering the facility, you get a breathtaking view that cannot be easily reproduced anywhere in the world. As you look off of the entrance platform to the floor below, you see a dimly highlighted SR-71 Blackbird stretching out into the distance with a brilliantly lit Space Shuttle looming gracefully behind it. That view alone is enough to keep me coming back on a regular basis.
So, if you live in the DC area, go soon. If you don't, come and visit, we'll find a place for you to stay so that you can see this fabulous new museum.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot that there's another IMAX theater in it too.