May 9, 2007

Hands Off: No Bright Ideas for the Mall

The Smithsonian Institution has accelerated its search for a public or private partner to redevelop its landmark Arts and Industries Building, the WaPo reports.

Smithsonian officials pledged that any partnership would "be consistent with the mission of the Institution." That means, according to one person in the congressional briefing, "no hotel, no bed-and-breakfast, no Gap, but something compatible with the rest of the Smithsonian."

So much for mixed-use development. What about an elaborate food court devoted to American culinary arts? Or residences for artists? Nope...only the staid and boring may apply.

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