German-American Heritage Museum in Washington D.C.
The newest addition to Washington’s museum circuit re-establishes a Victorian townhouse in Chinatown as a vital center for German-American relations.
WASHINGTON, DC — After more than 400 years of German immigration to the United States, the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® opened the first national German-American Heritage Museum as the newest addition to the museum circuit in Washington, DC.
From Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben to Levi Strauss, from Carl Schurz and Adolf Cluss to Babe Ruth, Americans of German descent have shaped the United States. With its Grand Opening to the public on March 21, 2010, the German-American Heritage Museum will tell the story of all Americans of German descent and present the rich history and many contributions they made in building America. Through compelling historical narratives as well as state-of-the-art multimedia installations and exhibits, visitors will have the unique opportunity to discover untold facets of American history.
Centrally located in historic Hockemeyer Hall at 719 Sixth Street, NW in Washington, DC, the home of the German-American Heritage Museum is itself a testament to the achievements of German immigrants in the United States. Built in 1888 by John Hockemeyer, a German immigrant who became a successful merchant, the Victorian townhouse is part of the Penn Quarter, historically a vibrant district of Washington, DC, originally settled by German immigrants. On October 17, 2008, the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® acquired Hockemeyer Hall to establish the museum. With the help of a committed network of supporters and a successful fundraising campaign, the GAHF has renovated the interior and exterior of the neglected building. Opening the German-American Heritage Museum at Hockemeyer Hall, the GAHF traces the building back to its truest roots by re-establishing the building as a vital center for German-American relations.
Opening Hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11AM to 6PM, Wednesday 2PM to 7PM and Saturday and Sunday 12PM to 5PM.
It presents permanent exhibits featuring German immigration and migration across the Unites States and famous German-Americans, as well as smaller temporary exhibitions on German Clubs and immigrant families in the U.S. and the influence of German music in the U.S.
In addition to the exhibition spaces, a small auditorium serves as a venue for lectures, multimedia presentations and conferences. Moreover, a Multimedia Kiosk informs visitors about Germany as it is today. Educational programs designed for students of multiple age groups will complete the Heritage Museum’s programs and allow visitors to delve deeper into the subject of German immigration to the United States.
The German-American Heritage Museum has partnered with the following museums and institutions around the globe to provide the best information, resources and services to its visitors: The Ellis Island Foundation (www.ellisisland.org), the German National Tourist Office, New York (www.germany-tourism.de), the “Ballinstadt” Museum, Hamburg (www.ballinstadt.de), the German Emigration Center, Bremerhaven (www.dah-bremerhaven.de), Deutsche Welle (www.dw-world.de), the German Information Center, Washington (www.germany.info), and the American Association of Teachers of German (www.aatg.org).
The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization committed to inform and educate the American public about the heritage of German immigrants and their valuable contributions to the developments of the United States. The GAHF serves as the national umbrella organization in which German-Americans work together on vital issues of common concern and promote their heritage. Its mission is to preserve and promote the heritage of Americans of German-speaking ancestry. The organization was founded in 1977 and chartered in 1978 as the United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc. (UGAC).