Washington, D.C. – The United States Senate on Friday approved by unanimous consent Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Susan Collins’ (R-ME) legislation to create a national women’s history museum on the site of a vacant building in Washington, D.C. that is owned by the General Services Administration (GSA).
The National Women’s History Museum Act of 2005 was introduced with the support of all the women members of the Senate. It directs the GSA to enter into a long-term occupancy agreement with the National Women’s History Museum, Inc. (NWHM), a nonprofit organization, to develop the Pavilion Annex adjoined to the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The site has been vacant for more than 10 years. It is estimated that such a museum would draw more than 1.5 million visitors to the Capitol each year.
“Such a museum would also showcase the many important social, economic, cultural, and political contributions that women have made to our country. And all this could be done at virtually no cost to taxpayers,” said Senator Collins.
Under Senator Collins’ bill (S. 501), NWHM would pay fair market value to rent the Annex and would be responsible for completing the building’s renovation and modification. The fair market value would be determined through an appraisal process.
“This is a great use for an empty federal building, and it makes good fiscal sense,” said Senator Collins.