White House Visitor Center

Washington, DC

Set in a historic building mere blocks from the main attraction, the White House Visitor Center originally opened in 1995 to distribute tour tickets and information, evolving to serve educational needs after the events of September 11, 2001. In July 2012, The National Park Service (NPS) and non-profit partner White House Historical Association (WHHA) sought to expand and improve the visitor experience by addressing the aging building, its inability to meet modern accessibility standards, and the Center’s outdated educational exhibits. The result is a new, state-of-the-art Visitor Center that welcomes 600,000 annual visitors of all ages, needs, and backgrounds while honoring the history and complex role of the Presidency and the White House through emotionally engaging, interactive, multimedia experiences.

The WHHA asked MGAC to act as intermediary between their organization and NPS throughout the project. Involved from concept through construction, the effort required coordination with multiple stakeholders – from the design team to government agencies to former and present First Families. Improving accessibility and security, acquiring extensive permitting and design approvals, and integrating complex technology, graphics and visuals into a historic building proved complex. MGAC’s strong relationships with the project partners and extensive experience transformed the complex into the achievable. The project delivered on-time and on-budget, receiving acclaim from clients, partners, and press alike.


16,600 SF Total Visitor Center;
5,400 SF Exhibit Footprint


LEED Silver;
Relocated Historical Sconces


2015 Craftsmanship Award, Washington Building; AIA Maryland Chapter, Merit Award – Interior Design; Congress Honor Award – Interior Architecture

Credit: Maxwell Mackenzie
Credit: Maxwell Mackenzie
Credit: Maxwell Mackenzie
Credit: Maxwell Mackenzie


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