The Newseum near the National Mall is closing its doors at the end of the year, the museum announced Tuesday.

The closure comes after more than 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors. The Newseum said in a statement that due to yearslong financial issues, continuing to operate at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. Northwest “has proven unsustainable.”

Earlier this year, the Newseum announced an agreement to sell the building to Johns Hopkins University, which intends to anchor the building with its School of Advanced International Studies.

The museum’s creator and primary funder, The Freedom Forum, “remains committed to continuing its mission to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment and to increase public awareness about the importance of a free and fair press,” museum officials said in the statement.

“These educational efforts are needed now more than ever and that critical work will continue online and through public programs in Washington, D.C., and around the country.”

The news led two visitors, Gale and Leslie, to make an effort to experience the museum before it closes.

“We came a day early, and I wanted to come see it,” said Gale as she glanced over the Newseum’s outdoor display of newspaper front pages.

Visiting on a business trip from Chicago, she said a friend recommended making the time to visit it: “He told us that we shouldn’t miss coming here, ’cause it won’t be here anymore.”

Gale said she’s hopeful the museum will leave a lasting impression on all who visit, well after its doors close. “I’m very sad about its closing,” she said.

Visitors are still welcome before the Dec. 31 closing date. A 15% discount is available for purchasing tickets online.

See photos of the Newseum through the years below.

newseum front pages
Passersby peruse the day’s newspaper front pages outside the Newseum on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
newseum front pages
Passersby peruse the day’s newspaper front pages outside the Newseum on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
After more than 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors, the Newseum will close on Dec. 31. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Pictures and names of journalists who were killed in 2018 while doing their job, are on display during the annual Journalist Memorial Re-Dedication ceremony, at the Newseum, on June 3, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Visitors are seen entering the Newseum, near the National Mall in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Newspaper front pages from around the nation are on display at the Newseum Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Washington. Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.
General view outside of the TNT “The Last Ship” Washington D.C. Screening at The Newseum on June 12, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images for Turner/Paul Morigi)
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporters who broke the story of Watergate, stand on the red carpet at the Newseum in this 2014 file photo. (WTOP/Michelle Basch, file)
Information about the “Anchorman” movie are seen at an exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (AP/Susan Walsh)
A passerby takes pictures of newspaper headlines reporting the death of Osama Bin Laden, in front of the Newseum, on May 2, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
A search mark painted by first responders on a property, a sign warning against looters, and photographs are on display at the Newseum in Washington, for their exhibit on press coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Suzanne Norton, of Oak Hill, Va., left, and Shirley Shiflett, of Springfield, Va., look at “Today’s Front Pages”, a display outside the Newseum, in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009, at a newspaper article remembering Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Kennedy, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. He was 77. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
Michael Petrides, an exhibit technician at the Newseum, works on an inaugural building wrap in honor of the Presidential inauguration in Washington, on Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. The wrap takes two weeks to fully install. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Tommy Kennedy of Liberia (C) raises his right hand while saying the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony at the Newseum July 3, 2008 in Washington, D.C. Fifty people from many countries, including Germany, Nigeria and Vietnam, became naturalized citizens of the United States during the ceremony on the eve of Independence Day. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz crowd surfs among surprised guests at the Capitol File White House Correspondents Dinner After Party at the Newseum April 26, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Melissa Golden)
The public gets its first look at the bullet- and shrapnel-riddled truck used by Time Magazine photographers and reporters during the war in the former Yugoslavia in the “World News” section of The Newseum during its grand opening April 11, 2008 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Children from the Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School, who could not be named due to school policy, vote for what kind of dog the Obamas should choose, part of an exhibit at the Newseum titled “First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets”, in Washington, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
Cannons shower confetti on people attending a block party celebrating opening day at the Newseum, a museum about journalism and the First Amendment, in Washington on Friday, April 11, 2008. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
Bill Main, left, Jackie Herder, Dave Herder, and Alan Herder, 18, roll past the Newseum during a Segway tour in Washington on Tuesday April 8, 2008. The Newseum, a museum devoted to journalism, is scheduled to open Friday April 11, 2008. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
At the foot of The Newseum’s soaring glass memorial dedicated to fallen journalists, four combat photographers who died in the Vietnam War are honored nearly four decades after their deaths, in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2008. The recovered remains of Larry Burrows, 44, of Life magazine, Henri Huet, 43, of The Associated Press, Kent Potter, 23, of United Press International, and Keisaburo Shimamoto, 34, a freelancer working for Newsweek, have been interred at the site. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/J. Scott Applewhite)
Construction continues inside the “Great Hall of News” at the Newseum, a 250,000-square-foot museum of news, in Washington on Wednesday Feb. 6, 2008. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
Arthur Sulzberger, chairman and publisher of The New York Times, addresses the media, Tuesday, May 23, 2006, in Washington. The Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism and the First Amendment, announced Tuesday it has received $52 million in gifts from eight major media companies and families as part of an effort to open a state-of-the-art complex near the Capitol. (AP/LAWRENCE JACKSON)
Visitors at the Newseum’s “Front Pages” exhibit look over U.S. daily newspapers coverage of the death of former President Ronald Reagan, Sunday, June 6, 2004, in Washington. Reagan, 93, died Saturday following a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. (AP/PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS)
A pedestrian looks at front page headlines on display as she passes by the “Today’s Front Pages” exhibit located outside the future site of the Newseum March 20, 2003 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Alex Wong)
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams announces in Washington Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2002 the design for the new Newseum, artist rendering at right, to be built on Pennsylvania Avenue. (AP/JOE MARQUETTE)
newseum front pages
newseum front pages

WTOP’s Jack Pointer contributed to this report.

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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