The White House Historical Association is proud to partner with the National Park Service on the revitalization of the White House Visitor Center. The Association's donation of $12.5 million for the project and operating endowment helped make this extraordinary public resource possible. David M. Rubenstein's recent gift of $5 million to the Association for the White House Visitor Center ensures center exhibits and technology will continue to be improved and enhanced in the years to come. The Center is operated by the National Park Service in historic Baldrige Hall in the Department of Commerce at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and is free and open to the public beginning on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The center includes a new flagship retail store for the Association, featuring new and treasured items that support the Association's mission of enhancing the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion.
The Association's underwriting of the architectural planning, exhibit design and fabrication, and media production have made possible a state-of-the-art visitor experience that includes interactive exhibits, a large-scale model of the White House, numerous tactile elements, a new permanent museum gallery, a temporary exhibit area, retail shop, visitor information facilities, and numerous opportunities for children and families to connect to the history of the White House and President's Park.
Nearly 100 artifacts from the White House Collection are on view, some for the first time, including items like President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Desk, an Eagle Finial that topped the White House flagpole in the late 19th Century, and the Chief Usher's Desk from 1902 – 1948. Visitors will find artifacts enhanced by hundreds of images of the White House as Office, Home, and Stage. Integrated into the museum gallery are screens highlighting additional imagery and stories from the White House.
A beautiful theater space offers a new film commissioned for the visitor center, "The White House: Reflections from Within", which features personal stories from presidents, first ladies, and other members of first families across the years.