On May 20, 2022, we celebrated our reopening of The Octagon to the public. Local guests were invited to tour the updated historic facility,  enjoy food and beverages, and experience the new art installation “I Was Here”.

The Octagon originally closed to the public in 2020 due to COVID-19. During the closure, we hosted digital exhibits, conducted several preservation projects as well as emergency and urgent repairs.

We also conducted planning for the museum programming and interpretation. “I Was Here”, launched in December 2021, is the first component of a multi year research project to commemorate the enslaved people who built and worked at The Octagon, their descendants and the role of enslaved people in the national architectural canon. This initiative is called “Parallel Histories Hidden in Plain Sight”.

Attendees were asked to give us their reactions to the installation (See: word cloud below). This activity brought about excellent dialogue. Some participants needed quiet space for reflection, while others were eager to discuss with others.

Interested in seeing “I Was Here” and touring at The Octagon? Book tickets today via architectsfoundation.org/octagon-tickets.