Jan
28

Status of the Arts and Industries Building

The Arts and Industries Building as seen from the East Door of the Smithsonian Institution Building (the "Castle.")  Photo by Eric Long

The Arts and Industries Building as seen from the East Door of the Smithsonian Institution Building (the “Castle.”) Photo by Eric Long

January. 27, 2014 Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough announced today that the Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall will not reopen later this year as originally planned. This decision was made for financial reasons.

Plans for the 133-year -old building called for creating an interim program called Smithsonian Innovation Space. After a year of program planning and financial review, the Smithsonian concluded the cost of rehabilitating the building for public use and operating it exceeded available funding sources at this time. The building’s exterior has been structurally stabilized with $55 million from federal funds.

Legislation pending in Congress names the building as the preferred site for the Smithsonian American Latino Museum. The Smithsonian has agreed to explore only interim uses for the building while Congress debates the legislation.

The Smithsonian will continue to explore options to reopen the building, but it will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Learn more about renovations to this historic building.


Posted: 28 January 2014
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.