Why the Air and Space Museum Stayed Open Despite the Snow
Enjoying that snow day off? So are D.C.'s museums, most of which announced last night that they'd be closed today due to the snowfall. Alone among the federally funded Smithsonian museums, however, the National Air and Space Museum is putting on a brave face. Presumably to the chagrin of some of its employees—and this Twitter user—it stayed open.
Washington DC's famous art museum is closed today and I'm stuck in the Air and Space museum :<
— Centrum Permanebit (@Catheurgy) March 3, 2014
So, is this just a case of American aeronautical grit? No—it probably has more to do with the habits of tourists. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas explains:
We cannot get full facilities and security staff into the Mall museums when public transportation is closed. However, we had enough staff to open one building. It's been done before.
The decisions are made by Under Secretary for Finance and Administration after conferring with security and facilities staffs. It is not made by the individual museum directors.
An Air and Space spokeswoman says the museum is busy, and that by 12:36 p.m. or so the museum was "was close to 1,100 visitors thus far." Meanwhile, the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is closed today.
Photo by Flickr user Tim Evanson via Creative Commons license