International Spy Museum Begins Construction at L'Enfant Plaza

The International Spy Museum is officially packing up its lipstick pistols, pen recorders and other gadgets and taking them to L'Enfant Plaza.

Construction has started on a new expanded Spy Museum building, according to a release from the museum and The JGB Companies.

The release said construction fences are up and site work is underway on the property between the National Mall and the Southwest Waterfront's Wharf.

“The new Spy Museum will be a welcome addition to Southwest as we continue to attract businesses and expand economic opportunity," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in the release.

Design features for the new museum include a glass “veil” suspended in front of an enclosed “black box” exhibition space that will allow the movement of people to be visible from both inside and outside.

"This sense of veil and black box reflects the Museum’s espionage-related themes of secrets revealed and hiding in plain sight. The new building significantly expands exhibit and educational space and adds an intimate theater along with unique event spaces," the release said.

Last year, museum officials considered moving the attraction out of D.C. after having trouble finding a new location.

The museum needs to vacate its current Penn Quarter building as its lease expires in 2017 and rent has increased since the museum opened in 2002.

More than 300 construction jobs are expected to open for the development. Additionally, the new and larger museum is expected to generate a 20 percent increase in staff over its current location.

The new museum is expected to open spring 2018.

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