July 1, 2020
Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University has closed on the acquisition of the former Newseum building at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington D.C. The university acquired the property from the Freedom Forum, the nonprofit that operated Newseum, for $302.5 million.
The Newseum closed in December after the Freedom Forum reached an agreement to sell the building in January of 2019. The 400,000-square-foot interactive museum promoted free expression and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, while tracing the evolution of communication. However, the museum faced financial challenges and carried at least $300 million in debt.
Johns Hopkins plans to consolidate its D.C. programs into the building. It currently owns three buildings on Massachusetts Avenue that it plans to sell to help finance the acquisition of the Newseum building. The university plans to renovate the building to increase square footage as well as building system upgrades.
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