The Newseum, the Washington, D.C., museum dedicated to journalism, is welcoming visitors for one final time on Tuesday before closing its doors due to a financial shortfall.
After 11 years in its towering glass building on Pennsylvania Ave., with a rooftop view of the U.S. Capitol, the museum announced in January that it would close its current location at the end of 2019. It cited high costs for the 250,000-square-foot building, in a prime location near the National Mall, and not enough revenue due to steep competition from nearby museums. Regular adult admission for the Newseum costs $25, while the Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art, just a short walk away along the National Mall, are free to all visitors.
The building was sold for $372.5 million to Johns Hopkins University, which will use it for its Washington-based graduate programs.
Long lines of visitors have been bidding farewell to the museum in its closing days this month.
After more than 11 years on Pennsylvania Avenue, we reminisce about our time here & the memories we made. While our location is changing, our mission to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press & the First Amendment will live on for years to come. pic.twitter.com/ShLSFOC17D
— Newseum (@Newseum) December 23, 2019
Many visitors have shared their memories, including journalists who cited visits to the museum as inspiration for their careers.
Definitely shed a few tears as I left the @Newseum for the last time. This place has been my favorite museum since I was a kid and is one of the reasons why I became a reporter. If you have some time before it closes on Tuesday, please go. pic.twitter.com/bGaJ5N23bd
— Kara Dixon (@KaraWAVY) December 29, 2019
I’m deeply saddened that today is the @Newseum’s last day. A building not only dedicated to the freedom of the press, but to speech, religion, assembly & petition. It captured history and the human condition, and is a testament to the giants who came before me @wusa9pic.twitter.com/oKbddD222k
— Eliana Block (@ElianaBlock) December 31, 2019
This @Newseum balcony picture was from 2013, during my first journalism internship in Philly. It was inspiring, the best place to geek out and a little (a lot) intimidating as an intern.
I will miss all of those things.
— Sarah Smith (@sarahesmith23) December 31, 2019
Today, we bid a sad farewell to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Our Youth Tour groups have had a great time at this place for many years. We’ll miss you. pic.twitter.com/yE9ZgBikmm
— S.C. Youth Tour (@SCYouthTour) December 31, 2019
Among the museum’s many landmarks include a daily display of newspaper front pages from all 50 U.S. states and countries around the world, a gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism, a memorial for slain journalists, an original portion of the Berlin Wall, and one of the earliest permanent exhibitions on the 9/11 attacks, when the museum opened in 2008. It also featured many interactive exhibits to teach the public about how journalists do their jobs.
Some of its work promoting the importance of the free press and the First Amendment will continue, according to the museum, through online and public exhibits in Washington. Its current exhibit on LGBTQ rights will become a traveling exhibition, moving first to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle until 2021.
“We’re proud of how we did our storytelling,” Newseum spokesperson Sonya Gavankar told the Associated Press. “We changed the model of how museums did their work.”