The Real Deal Los Angeles

Johns Hopkins University to pay $373M for Washington DC’s Newseum

The building spans 632K sf across from the National Mall
January 28, 2019 01:00PM

Freedom Forum CEO Jan Neuharth and the Newseum (Credit: Freedom Forum Institute and Wikipedia)

The owners of the Newseum in Washington D.C. have agreed to sell the Pennsylvania Avenue building for $372.5 million.

The nonprofit group Freedom Forum announced Friday that Johns Hopkins University will buy the building, according to the New York Post. The school will consolidate its Washington-based programs there.

The decision to sell the museum — focused on journalism, the history of communication and First Amendment issues — was made after more than a year-long review of its operations, including its “unsustainable” operating costs, according to the Post.

The 10-year-old 632,000-square-foot building is located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, across the street from the National Mall and near the U.S. Capitol Building. There are 15 theaters, a dozen large galleries, and 75,000 square feet of office space. The building also includes a residential component with 135 rentals.

The museum will stay open through the end of 2019, but its long-term fate is up in the air. The Freedom Forum appears not to have a new space for the museum lined up and said in a statement it was exploring “digital outreach, traveling exhibits, and web-based programs in schools around the world, as well as hopefully in a new physical home in the area.”

The Newseum has permanent exhibits on news coverage of the September 11th terror attacks, a comprehensive gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, and it regularly hosts talks with well-known journalists. It also has a number of historical artifacts, including the Montana cabin from which the Unabomber ran his mail-bombing campaign. [NYP] – Dennis Lynch