The National Association of Realtors®, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, is helping keep alive the history of a house whose story is a snapshot of America itself.
Since 2001, the National Association of Realtors® has sponsored the “Within These Walls” exhibition at the National Museum of American History, which chronicles the story of one home and five families whose lives intersected with American history at different crossroads. This week, NAR and the Smithsonian announced that the association will extend and expand its sponsorship, becoming exclusive sponsor of “Within these Walls” September 2018 through 2030.
You can read more about the sponsorship and exhibit in the Smithsonian’s June 13 announcement: http://americanhistory.si.edu/press/releases/within-these-walls.
“Real estate is more than just a structure, it’s a home,” said Bob Goldberg, NAR senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The stories of the occupants are what makes a house a home. We were particularly intrigued by this home as it provided an opportunity for NAR to share the importance of homeownership through the stories of the five families who called this structure home.”
The exhibition is built around a 250-year-old two-story house from Ipswich, Mass., which is the largest artifact in the National Museum of America History.
In the early 1960s, the Ipswich House was saved from demolition by a handful of local citizens. Smithsonian staff took the house apart piece by piece, transported it, and reassembled it inside the National Museum of American History on the National Mall.
“Within These Walls” will continue to be expanded and updated with new stories. In 2018, the museum will install a new artifact case to feature objects marking the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which was signed in April 1968 to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Other future enhancements to the exhibition include experiences to further engage younger visitors in piecing together exhibit stories and the ways enslaved people staked their claim to liberty as well as additional interactives throughout the exhibition.
The “Within These Walls” website shares more history and photos of the exhibit: http://amhistory.si.edu/house/home.asp.