Hobby Lobby Owners Break Ground on Bible Museum
Architectural Record, Feb. 20, 2015
If the founders of the incipient Museum of the Bible had asked Frank Gehry to represent the parting of the Red Sea in billows of metal and glass, it might have been the least controversial thing about the project, which broke ground last week two blocks south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The 430,000-square-foot, $400 million museum was dreamed up by Oklahoma’s Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain, who recently won their much-publicized Supreme Court case to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees on religious grounds. Steve Green, a Southern Baptist and the president of Hobby Lobby, is the chairman of the museum’s board. The core of the collection will be his own trove of some 44,000 Biblical texts and artifacts, including Dead Sea Scroll fragments, cuneiform tablets, and medieval manuscripts.