BOCA RATON–Fla.–The Armenian Assembly of America announced its recent acquisition of an historic building in Washington. The marquee site–located just two blocks east of the White House–will serve as a world class museum and memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. The building will also become the headquarters of the Assembly and the Armenian National Institute (ANI). The announcement came during the Assembly’s annual Board of Trustees meeting–held March 25 in Boca Raton–Florida.
The building acquisition and its primary use as an Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial were one of the themes of the Trustees weekend. The purchase of a prominent site in our nation’s capital culminates a process begun at the 1996 meeting of the Assembly’s Board of Trustees.
ANI Board member Anoush Mathevosian contributed $3,500,000 toward the purchase of a suitable site in Washington–DC for an Armenian Genocide Museum. The search took over three years.
In early 2000–Life Trustee Gerry Cafesjian committed to help fund a complex to co-locate a Genocide Museum–Genocide Memorial–ANI and the Armenian Assembly. Cafesjian provided the critical last step in the process begun in 1996 with a contribution of $3,500,000 to purchase the signature historic building in the shadow of the White House. Cafesjian also provided the leadership and professional team that insured the securing of this landmark property for $7,250,000 in February.
In his cover letter with the signed contract–the seller–Loeb-Picard–wrote–"I’m delighted to sell this building–that I do love–for such a noble purpose."
A Museum and Memorial Planning and Development Committee has been created to immediately begin the task of supervising the complex process of planning the restoration of the historic property and the design and installation of the Genocide Museum and Memorial. A grand opening target of April 24–2002 has been set by the Committee. Periodic progress reports will be issued by the Committee as the planning and development process evolves.
The 34,000 square foot property is located at the corner of 14th and G streets. The building is near the National Press Club and top hotels such as the Willard Intercontinental–Hay-Adams and Hotel Washington. Constructed in 1925–the five-story structure is listed as a landmark in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and in the National Register of Historic Places.