DC at Night

DC at Night

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Designer Mini-golf at the Museum

Washington D.C. has become flooded by the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, which also drowned the farms on which the city relied for fresh produce. Terra firma was raised over the old National Mall and its monuments for new urban farms. The old city is now a historical exhibit below. Situated on the old ground level, the iconic structures of the old National Mall such as the Lincoln Memorial are encapsulated and viewed from the elevated new National Mall.

Is the above the setting of the latest science fiction movie about the nation's capital city? No. Actually, it is a description of one of the innovative holes in the National Building Museum's new summertime exhibition, Mini-Golf at the Building Museum.

Capitol City Crops hole
The attraction features two 9-hole courses, the easier Green and the more challenging Blue.

The theme of this year's offering is Building with the Future. All 18 holes were designed by leading Washington-area architects, landscape architects, and contractors. On both courses, you can learn about the future as you play.

Joined by our friend Jim Boner and his 7-year-old daughter Jells, my wife and I took on the challenge of twists and turns of the Green course.

In addition to the Capitol City Crops hole described previously, the course includes:

  • The 19th Crater (golf on the moon)
  • materiALIVE (inspired by a living roof and designed to look at the role materials play in building the future)
  • Holograph Hole (you actually played through a 3-D holograph)
  • The Job Site (models many of the obstacles encountered while navigating a construction site)
  • FOREward Thinking (revitalizing old buildings with new energy)
  • Homeroom (depicting the classroom of the future) 
  • Capital RiverGreen (vertical panels rise up like buildings in the now-being developed Capitol Riverfront and Yards neighborhood
  • Urban Pinball (explores the uncertainty inherent in the future)
Jells Boner tests out the red moon course ...

... which then changes to blue.

The 2 mini-golf courses will be open until Labor Day. Participants are now able to cast a vote for their favorite hole. The Museum will present a Best of Show award, determined by a jury of experts, at the conclusion of the exhibit.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
So what was it like playing the Green Course. Of course, (pun intended), it was fun. I thought the 2 most interesting holes were the 19th Crater and the Holograph Hole. For DC learning, the 2 most instructional holes were the Capitol City Crops and the Capital RiverGreen. As for our 4-way golf battle, par for the Green Course was a 25. Jim won our foursome with a 2-over 27. I scored a 29, with Judy receiving a 30 and Jells a 35. Which goes to prove that even in the future, I won't be a championship golfer.

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