Newseum to sell its current premises after strategic rethink of its future
The Freedom Forum – the creator and primary funder of the Newseum – has has just anounced that it intends to sell the museum’s spectacular premises in central Washingon to Johns Hopkins University which will use the building as a new center for its DC-based graduate programs.
The Newseum opened its doors in 2008 as a museum of journalism and news history with a permanent collection of historic artifacts and newspapers dedicated to increasing public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment (free speech). The Newseum occupies seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters and offers a wide range of interactive activities. Its Berlin Wall Gallery, with eight concrete sections, is one of the largest displays of the original wall outside Germany.
The Freedom Forum, which made the announcement, has committed more than $600 million to building the Newseum and financing its operations over that last ten years. Despite such massive investment and an impressive array of corporate sponsors, the museum’s operating costs are considered to be unsustainable in a strategic review of the institution’s future which has concluded with the reccomendation to sell its prestigious Pennsylvania Avenue premises (for which Johns Hopkins University will pay $372,5 million).
The Freedon Forum has expresed its committment to continuing its programs in the Washington area, but in a financially sustainable way which remains to be determined. The Newseum will remain open through 2019 while the details of the sale and transfer are worked out.
The full text of the Newseum press statement can be found here.