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Ted Kennedy’s Memorial Teaches Kids to Filibuster and Pound Gavels

Next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, the late Senator Edward Kennedy will soon be memorialized with a new building, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects. In a few months, construction teams will break ground on the 40,000 square foot educational center, which will include a complete replica of Kennedy’s old stomping ground, the U.S. Senate.

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Sited on the University of Massachusetts campus, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will serve as a public resource and a venue for programming related to the structure of the US government and the history of democracy, with special attention to youth and students.

Viñoly’s plan features a ground floor designed in white precast concrete, a gesture of harmony with the adjacent I.M. Pei building. In addition to regular programming space, Viñoly will include a replica of the Senate within the institute, where students from around the country will participate in mock government sessions during the summer. The two-story Senate Chamber will be separated from the concrete wing with a giant skylight that spans much of the building. A public open space at the front entrance will connect the two Kennedy buildings, with the intention of combining both experiences in one visit.

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