National Building Museum Lets People Combine Museuming and Mini-Golfing
A winning idea for both a museum looking to compete with the Smithsonian for summer buzz, and for parents whose kids might otherwise whine over having to go to the museum, the mini-golf course exhibit has been an excellent addition to the National Building Museum this summer. It is worth catching before the exhibit ends its run on Labor Day.
To clarify, the exhibit isn’t about mini-golf: It literally consists of playing a round of mini-golf. Only in this case, each of the holes is designed by a separate architectural design firm in the area and incorporates.
“The project came about because we had a lot of good relationships with design firms in the area and wanted to do something with that,” said museum spokeswoman Stacey Adamson.
The end result is a highly unconventional golfing experience. It's not always clear where some holes start or where they end. One hole, titled "Dedalus' Journey", is made of stone and sends the ball through a labyrinth of grooves. Another hole, "Hopscotch", is fashioned after an architectural blueprint. The most difficult hole, "Paranesi's Halfpipe", is a halfpipe-shaped ramp with holes at 90 degree angles that will leave a lot of frustrated people whacking at the deceptively difficult hole.
Not all the holes make for equally satisfying golfing experiences (and for that reason, it might have been nice if the course was a full 18 rather than 12 holes) but the course is best appreciated as an experiment in design and enjoyed as such.
The exhibit's walls are lined with fun factoids covering the origin of the sport and other trivia. Considering the waiting time between holes, it might have been nicer to have given exhibit goers a more comprehensive exhibit with old-time photographs to look at while they wait.
Still, the exhibit is a definite must-see as is the National Building Museum in general. The cost is $5 and the mini-golf exhibit is open during museum hours up until Labor Day.
The official website can be found here.
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