Armenian Genocide Museum of America
1140 19th Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-383-9009, Web:

September 19, 2008
CONTACT: Carole Karabashian
Phone: (202) 383-9009
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC-The District of Columbia Preservation League (DCPL)
convened its annual membership meeting September 18, at the site of
the Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA), formerly the National
Bank of Washington. DCPL strongly supported the proposals prepared by
the architects of the AGMA project for the renovation of the landmark
building at the corner of 14th and G Streets, two blocks from the
White House. The plans for AGMA were approved earlier this year by the
DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and the DC Board of
Zoning Adjustment.

Addressing an audience of over 150 guests were Rebecca Miller, DCPL
Executive Director, John D. Billingham, DCPL Board of Trustees
President, Dr. Rouben Adalian, Armenian National Institute Director,
and Gary Martinez, project architect with the firm of Martinez &
Johnson Architecture.

Thanking the AGMA for hosting its annual meeting, DCPL President
Billingham said: "It's a wonderful building and it is really good to
see that the Armenian Genocide Museum is going to put it back into a
use that we can all benefit from." At the regulatory hearing of the
HBRB held in March 2008, DCPL representative Patrick Burkhardt
characterized the complementary efforts to construct the AGMA as well
as restore the historic building a "textbook marriage" of purpose and

Following President Bellingham, Dr. Adalian responded by saying: "I
want to thank the League for its support and encouragement of this
ground-breaking project, a project dedicated to the importance and
values of human rights and the universal message of our common
humanity and collective responsibility."

Martinez explained to the audience how the historic building will be
renovated and expanded, and added that Dr. Adalian and all those who
are actively building this museum "are very sensitive, and I have to
say this from an architect's point of view, they are very sensitive to
the issues of restoration and preservation for the existing building."

The National Bank of Washington, previously the Federal-American
National Bank, was built in 1925-26. The building was designed by
nationally prominent bank and skyscraper architect Alfred C. Bossom in
association with distinguished Washington architect Jules Henri De
Sibour, the city's leading practitioner of the Beaux-Arts style. The
building's design incorporates a number of innovative interior and
exterior features, most notably the elevated two-story banking hall,
which is one of only twelve landmarked interiors in the city of

The mission of the DCPL is to preserve, protect, and enhance the
historic built environment of Washington, DC, through advocacy and

The Armenian Genocide Museum of America is an outgrowth of the
Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute
(ANI), catalyzed by the initial pledge of Anoush Mathevosian toward
building such a museum in Washington, DC.