The Architect’s Newspaper
Commissioned by the [National Museum of African American History and Culture] to mark its recent launch, Wilson delivers with a history of its genesis from century-long civic intent to the intricate teamwork of curators, scholars, and (above all) architects and engineers, who together shaped its conceptual vision. This is an all-too-rare look at what a modern building requires in its realization, especially when the stakes are no less than the historic record itself and a site at the hinge of L’Enfant’s plan. […] The chapter “Inside the African American Story” stands out as a standard of well-explained problem solving; its welcome inclusion of design elevations and blueprints cements this comprehensive intent. What the author describes as “a spiritual feeling like that of a cathedral,” comes as much from a soaring interior of long vistas as the combined efforts the book affirms. This is a building that blends strife with hope as its historical mandate deserved. Wilson’s book helps show us not only why but how.