museums: NBM no longer free
National Building Museum executive director Chase W. Rynd today announced a change to the Museum’s policy regarding admission, which has been free since its opening in 1985 as a private, non-profit institution. Starting Monday, June 27, 2011, the Museum will charge admission for entry to its exhibitions. Public access to the Great Hall, Museum Shop, and cafe in the Museum’s landmark historic building will continue to be free, as will the Museum’s docent-led historic building tours. The Museum’s three annual family festivals‒Discover Engineering Family Day, the National Cherry Blossom Family Festival, and the Big Build‒will remain free to all.
Standard admission charges will be $8 for adults and $5 for youth, students and seniors. The PR has details on other discounted and free admission categories.
It’s unfortunate, but seems like a necessary evil. Unlike the other better known private museums in DC (Spy/Crime & Punishment), the Building Museum is really a treat. I suppose DC residents get a bit spoiled with the assortment of free Smithsonian facilities. I admit that I didn’t always make a donation when I visited the NBM, but they usually got my money via the gift shop, so it all balanced out.
This won’t stop me from going if there’s an exhibit I really want to see, but this might change up the usual “we’re out and about in Gallery Place, let’s swing by the Building Museum” spur of the moment trips. Still, I’d rather see them charge admission than close.
But if the price of admission is that much of a sticking point for you, go and get your free visits in before June 27!