HSW and Convention Center/Events DC (finally) sign agreement

Washington Convention Center Authority
11/15/2011 | Press release
Agreement creates new economic-impact opportunities for Events DC and long-term stability for the Historical Society of Washington, DC

[Posted for inquiring minds.–Ed.]

WASHINGTON, DC -Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, and the Historical Society of Washington, DC (HSW) announced today the execution of an 88-year lease amendment for the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Under this agreement, Events DC will develop and operate special-event space and develop new opportunities for creating economic impact in the District while creating long-term stability for HSW. The HSW will continue to use the building for its headquarters, the Kiplinger Research Library and exhibit galleries for its collections of historical materials.

”This agreement marks a major milestone for our organization as we play a pivotal role in the revitalization of Mt. Vernon Square and the historic Carnegie Library,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. ”The Library itself is a high-demand venue and will serve as a natural extension of our work to create a premier event experience in order to generate economic impact for the city’s residents and businesses. This historic landmark is a perfect complement to our existing space in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, making this opportunity a perfect fit for Events DC.”

Events DC assumed administrative control of the Carnegie Library, including the remaining 88 years on the HSW’s lease, from the District government in May. Under the terms of the lease amendment, the Society will turn over approximately 80 percent of the building to Events DC, which will develop new uses for the space, including a visitors center with information on current events, maps and neighborhood-level wayfinding. In return, Events DC will operate and maintain the 110-year-old building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with HSW as a tenant, allowing the Society to focus all of its resources on core operations and programs, which will continue to be located at the Library.

”These are exciting times for the Historical Society,” said Julie Koczela, chair of HSW’s Board of Trustees. ”The agreement with Events DC breathes new life into the Society, restores our financial viability and enables us to move forward with a strategy for serving residents, tourists, conventioneers and all others who want to know more about the nation’s capital and its extraordinary history.”

According to O’Dell, the building’s central location and its historic significance make it an ideal location for a special-events venue and a gateway for visitors to the District. ”We will provide local, regional, national and international travelers with a welcoming experience to the District, encouraging visitors to see the city’s diverse neighborhoods while returning life and energy to the Carnegie Library and Mt. Vernon Square.”

Events DC programming at the Carnegie Library will include a visitors center showcasing the city’s past and present, while HSW will continue to operate its renowned Kiplinger Research Library. The Society will present exhibits and other programs in the Small-Alper Gallery and another large exhibition gallery on the second floor.

”The agreement represents a win-win situation for both organizations,” said Koczela. ”Events DC will leverage its expertise in high-profile special events and tourism promotion inside of one of Washington’s architectural treasures while HSW will be able to continue its important work collecting, conserving and presenting materials and programs about the city’s history for students, scholars and the general public.”

By reviving the site as Washington, DC’s cultural crossroads, a role the Carnegie Library has historically played, Events DC will reinvigorate the public nature of this location, creating a new destination for residents and visitors alike. HSW will continue to use the building for its headquarters, the Kiplinger Research Library and exhibit galleries for its collections of historical materials.

About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact. Events DC also manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes the historic Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, and the non-military functions of the DC Armory. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.eventsdc.com.

About Historical Society of Washington, DC
Founded in 1894, the Historical Society of Washington, DC, serves the city, its residents and visitors as an educational institution that promotes knowledge of the past for better understanding of the future. The HSW collects, preserves and shares the rich history of Washington, DC, and promotes understanding of the nation’s capital as a city of crossroads. The Society is devoted to making the history of the Washington metropolitan area and its people accessible and understandable to public audiences to achieve a sense of identity, place and pride in Washington for those who live and work here. The Society’s Museum is located at 801 K Street, N.W. in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit historydc.org.


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