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Before the Bulldozers: Historic Southwest D.C. Exposed

An immersive app-based audio walk through Southwest - available for group tours or self-guided

Step into 1950s Southwest D.C. on the eve of one of the federal government’s most destructive experiments: urban renewal. Augmented reality combined with rich, textured audio allows 21st Century participants to take a walk through a historic neighborhood that has largely disappeared. Using location-based storytelling, we trace the paths of three characters: an amateur photographer determined to capture his endangered community on film, an architect whose vision of a gleaming new Southwest captured the imagination of city planners, and a current-day resident of the new Southwest grappling with the paradox of gentrification.

  • Starts at Waterfront Metro Station
  • Phones provided for students
  • Educator-led walking tour (1 mile), ending at the waterfront with a dialogue session
  • Best for 5th grade and up
  • Maximum 40 students, lasts 1.5 hours

The Utopia Project: Inspiration for Creative Activism

In-museum group tours

Dare to dream with us. What could a better world look like? How can we get there? Here, you can get in touch with what you care about, visualize the future in our dream space, and learn the creative methods that create social change in today’s world. Next, your dreams become actions in our specially designed maker space - outfitted with everything from cardboard and tape to Legos and sketchbooks.

Great for change-makers looking for inspiration, families, and students aged 10 and up who are interested in learning how social change happens.

Two-week advance reservations required for all guided tours. 

Trenda Davidson

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