The National Building Museum has dismissed approximately eight percent of its employees due to financial struggles ahead of its reopening in March.
Seven staff members working in multiple departments were fired in January, DCist reported, attributing the information to Chase Rynd, the museum’s executive director.
The layoffs are mainly stemming from loss of income due to the ongoing makeover at the museum, in addition to other economic issues it has been dealing with.
The ceramic floor of the building’s Great Hall is going through a significant modernization. When it reopens, there will be a new visitors center and a whole set of exhibits.
Even though the gift shop and offices have stayed open during the renovations, the temporary closure that started in December caused an intermission in paid exhibits. The Great Hall, which is typically used for private events, is currently out of service, as well.
Starting December 2 the National Building Museum's exhibitions will close to the public until March 2020. Construction begins next week to safely replace its floor with a modern foundation—with the overall goal of preserving the integrity of the building https://t.co/WqDxGgQEQh pic.twitter.com/a4u9TrQpdG
— NtlBuildingMuseum (@BuildingMuseum) November 25, 2019
“What that challenge did is reveal to us that, like a lot of nonprofits, we were trying to do more than we can with the revenue we have,” Rynd said.
More than 75 workers remain at the National Building Museum, according to Rynd.
Among the upcoming exhibitions of the museum are Alan Karchmer: The Architects’ Photographer, which focuses on the key role of a professional architectural photographer in interpreting the designer’s work; The Wall/El Muro: What is a Border Wall? that examines the border wall from the perspective of architecture and design; Animals, Collected that explores the museum’s most unusual treasures – through the lens of the animal kingdom, and others.
You can find the full list of upcoming exhibitions here.
“The National Building Museum transforms understanding of the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and design,” the museum that is going to celebrate its 40-year anniversary this year says on its website. “Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, we welcome all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, communities, and futures.”