- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 28, 2007

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King are coming back to town — in wax.

The Tussauds Group, the London company that runs Madame Tussauds wax museums, has announced plans to open a location in the District later this year in the former Woodward & Lothrop building on F Street Northwest.

Wax figures of Washington, Lincoln and King are planned for the museum, the company said yesterday. The King figure will recite the famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The centerpiece of the D.C. museum will be an exact replica of the Oval Office, where visitors can have their photos taken at the president’s desk.

Work on the wax creatures for the new museum is scheduled to begin soon in the Madame Tussauds studios in London, the company said.

“All Madame Tussauds attractions are specifically tailored to appeal to the local markets in which they operate, and Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C., is no exception,” said Glenn Earlam, a managing director for the Tussauds Group. “The theme at Madame Tussauds Washington reflects the rich culture of the city in which it operates.”

The world-famous museum would be a boost to the District’s family tourism attractions.

Early projections suggest that a wax museum could draw 35,000 visitors each month, but those projections could be modest.

The museum’s lease for 27,000 square feet is another step in filling up the Woodward & Lothrop building, which developer Doug Jemal bought in 1999.

Other tenants in the building include H&M; clothing, the Environmental Protection Agency, the West Elm furniture store and the recently announced Zara clothing store.

“We are delighted to have a world-class attraction such as Madame Tussauds,” said Norman Jemal, vice president of Douglas Development Corp.

The location would be the company’s seventh wax museum, with others in London, Amsterdam, New York, Las Vegas, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The company also is planning to open a site in Hollywood, Calif. The U.S. locations would cost $75 million, according to the Sunday Times in London.

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