The International Spy Museum has attracted visitors curious in espionage for 16 years, but soon it will be on the move.
The museum has now outgrown its home in Penn Quarter and will head to a new building twice its size in L’Enfant Plaza.
“We’re starting off in 2019 with a brand new museum based on all those years of learning,” said Chris Costa, the Executive Director of the International Spy Museum. “So there’s a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation with our move.”
The new Spy Museum location, at 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, is 140,000 square feet and was built from the ground up specifically for the espionage exhibits.
Staff will officially close the doors of the current location, in Penn Quarter, at the end of the day on January 1st.
The first artifact to make the move on January 5th will be the iconic James Bond Aston Martin DB5 from the movie Goldfinger, which will be taken out by crane.
While the Aston Martin will permanently reside in the new museum’s lobby, the Bond artifacts in the Spy Museum’s Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibit will not be part of the move.
“We knew we were going to have to move, it’s no secret,” said Costa. “We’ve been planning for it for a long time.”
Costa says the museum has outgrown its home at the intersection of 9th Street and F Street NW, where it was founded in 2002. He pointed out the museum has tripled the number of artifacts it has since it opened.
“We wanted to grow. We wanted to tell more stories. We wanted more artifacts. So this is a natural outgrowth of all of that work that’s gone into the museum and the years of learning,” said Costa.
The new seven-story building will have educational programming, a lecture hall and theater and an event space with a panoramic view of downtown and the mall. The museum will be located in a newly revitalized area, not far from the District Wharf.
“I think we’re going to be the anchor in the neighborhood and we’re excited in leading that revitalization,” said Costa.
The move to L’Enfant Plaza is expected to take a couple of months with an opening planned for spring 2019.
You can learn more about the move and visiting the current Spy Museum by clicking here.