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99 Year Lease Signed for African American Civil War Memorial Museum Grimke School Redevelopment

Washington, D.C., October 16, 2018 – The African American Civil War Memorial Museum, today announces the signing of a 99-year lease with its development partner, Community Three Grimke, LLC.

The agreement will secure a home for the African American Civil War Memorial Museum in the historic Grimke School and will allow for the vast expansion of the museum exhibits with a multitude of new artifacts and a state of the art media theater. One of the new exhibits: “Slavery to the White House: The USCT Heritage of First Lady Michelle Obama,” will explore the story of the First Lady’s two ancestors, Jerry Sutton/Suter, 55th USCT and Ceaser Cohen, 128th USCT, both of which are listed with their respective regiments on the Wall of Honor of the African American Civil War Memorial.

Community Three Grimke, LLC is in the permit stage now with full scale renovations to begin in the Spring of 2019. In the spring of 2020 Community Three will deliver a “warm lit shell” to the African American Civil War Museum which will undertake a $5mm final buildout of its 12,000 sq. ft. space. As part of the build out the museum will move its current exhibit that is now on display in the adjacent gym into the new space in addition to installing two new exhibits that are currently under construction. The museum at Grimke will have its own grand front door and ceremonial porch with a spiral staircase that will be visible from the monument across Vermont Avenue. Following the Duke Plan for Historic U Street, the museum project will use granite and brick pavers, shrubbery, art and other design techniques to enhance the African American Civil War Plaza and combine the two elements across Vermont Avenue.