The Smithsonian’s New Museum Sites Dedicated to Women and Latinos

The Smithsonian Found Two New Museum Sites on the National Mall, Dedicated to Honoring Latinos and Women.

Oct 29, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Smithsonian, the National Mall
View of the National Mall from the Washington Hotel. (Kurt Kaiser/Wikimedia Commons/Universal Public Domain Dedication)

The Smithsonian announced its Board of Regents identified potential sites for the future museum. The new museum is the National Museum of American Latino, and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum in Washington D.C.


Two last remaining sites received huge critiques

The Smithsonian
The Smithsonian Institution’s Arts and Industries in Washington


Congress approved the museums over two years prior to the announcement. As a result, the museum had to carefully examine the Mall. Also, The Smithsonian carefully examined more than 25 sites on the Mall.


The selection of these two sites came with critical groans. For example, AN contributor Neil Flanagan said two final sites are “terrible, cramped sites for museums with serious collections.”


The final two selections need to be designated by the Smithsonian Board of Regents, by the end of this year. One of the sites stands directly opposite the National Museum of African American History. The other one is on the eastern side of the Tidal Basin and faces the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Map showing new museum's location
Possible location for the Smithsonian.


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It is inconclusive, which of these two sites will represent the new museum’s location. Evidently, being away from the Mall makes the Tidal Basin location less desirable.  Before the Congress makes the decision, it must accept the locations and give the go-ahead for development.


The Smithsonian board has three Senators, three Representatives, the Chief Justice, the Vice President, and nine members of the public. “The world turns to the National Mall to better understand what it means to be an American, we were thorough in our process”, Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian, said.


One step closer to securing a home for the new Latino Museum

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.


It’s a victory for those who have long pushed for museums dedicated to Latino Americans and women to be built on the National Mall, despite the challenges that still lie ahead. “It’s an exciting next step in realizing the dream so many people have worked for over the last three decades”, said Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.


“I’m excited that we are one step closer to securing a home for the new Latino Museum”, Jorge Zamanillo, said director of the National Museum of the American Latino. Once they finalize the sites, fundraising for the Smithsonian’s two newest additions will commence.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.