Johns Hopkins University to acquire Newseum building in DC

Johns Hopkins University announced Friday that it is acquiring the building that currently houses the Newseum in Washington D.C.

The property, located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest, D.C., will be bought by the University for $372.5 million from the Freedom Forum, the principal sponsor of the Newseum.

"Acquiring this iconic property in the heart of the nation's capital will represent a transformative moment for Johns Hopkins University and place our research and expertise in the midst of national and global decision-making," the University said in a statement. "This new location will allow us to consolidate and expand our Washington, D.C., academic facilities into a single state-of-the-art building - a world-class academic space that can be optimized for current and future research, education and engagement."

The Newseum opened in 2018 and will remain open to the public through 2019, according to the Freedom Forum, and the decision to sell came after a 16-month review. "We stand ready to continue much of the Newseum's important work for decades to come -- through 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," said Peter Prichard, chair of the Newseum board of trustees.

"This was a difficult decision, but it was the responsible one," said Jan Neuharth, chair and CEO of the Freedom Forum. "We remain committed to continuing our programs - in a financially sustainable way - to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment and to increase public awareness about the importance of a free and fair press. With today's announcement, we can begin to explore all options to find a new home in the Washington, DC area."

The John Hopkins University said the purchase is being made possible through the sale of Johns Hopkins' existing D.C. properties, university funds and philanthropic support.

"The renovated building will provide opportunities for every academic division of the university to pursue research and educational activities in Washington - complementing and drawing on those conducted on our flagship Baltimore campuses and deepening our connections to debates over national and global policy," said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels.