Baltimore’s National Great Blacks in Wax Museum gets design approval

Baltimore's national great blacks in wax museum gets design approval
An artist’s rendering of the new National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
© Davis Brody Bond

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum has received final approval for the design of its expanded facility on North Avenue.

With a few suggestions, Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel on Thursday approved a design for the museum’s expansion of its location at 1601 E. North Ave. The $75 million project, designed by Washington, D.C., architecture firm Davis Brody Bond, will span the length of the block between Broadway and Bond Street, with a sprawling green space behind the museum.

The museum has been in business 32 years and attracts more than 150,000 visitors annually. With a lager presence in East Baltimore’s Oliver neighborhood, the organization’s leaders hope to grow its annual visitation to 500,000.

The new facility will include space for exhibits, a gift shop, genealogy center and theater.

Davis Brody Bond first presented the initial expansion plans to UDARP four years ago. The design presented Thursday includes a new entry point, transparent view into the museum and the preserved structure of the fire house where the museum is located. []