If you are interested in learning more about Benjamin Banneker, our museum is a great place to start! We offer permanent and temporary exhibits, a children’s discovery zone, a Sky View computer zone, and a DVD viewing area. In addition, we have live animals and a natural history display.
Our permanent gallery tells the stories of the Bannaka Family and Benjamin Banneker’s life and legacy. Special features include artifacts uncovered during the 1980s archaeological excavations at the park, a telescope owned by Major Andrew Ellicott, and items loaned to Banneker by the Ellicotts including the desk where Banneker worked and studied. Visitors can learn about slavery and freedom, tobacco farming, archaeology, astronomy, almanacs, and land surveying.
The Community Gallery:
In our Community Gallery visitors will find a check in desk, DVD viewing area, natural history exhibit, and restrooms. We also feature a wide variety of rotating exhibits that usually run for three months at a time. Past exhibits included telling ancestral stories through textiles and paper, basket weaving history, archaeology, African American history, women’s history, slavery, Ellicott family letters, quilts, and much more.
Banneker Discovery Zone:
The Banneker Discovery Zone invites children to interact with Banneker-related hands-on materials. There are a variety of children’s books and colonial toys awaiting exploration as well as learning bins that contain interactives focused on topics like Banneker the Colonial Farmer, Banneker the Astronomer, Banneker the Clock Maker, and Banneker the Mathematician. The Discovery Zone also features live animals including a terrapin, a tree frog, and Madagascar cockroaches. Seasonally, we also feature tadpoles and a variety of caterpillars, their chrysalises, and the butterflies that emerge.
Natural History Exhibit
In addition to history exhibits, we also have a Natural History Exhibit that shows a (small!) sample of animals you could find right here in the park! Among the animals displayed are a fox, a faun, a Baltimore oriole, and mud daubers!
Sky View Computer:
A computer linked to SkyViewCafe allows older children and adults to explore many aspects of the night sky, even traveling back in time to see the night sky as Banneker saw it during his survey of Washington, D.C.
ViewSpace is an internet-fed, self-updating, permanent exhibit from the Space Telescope Science Institute, home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope.