- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Roof collapses at Smithsonian warehouse in Md.
Question of the Day
Historic aircraft and spacecraft were exposed to freezing temperatures Wednesday after heavy snow collapsed part of a roof and wall at a Smithsonian Institution storage facility.
No artifacts were thought to be damaged because they are all kept in boxes or protective crates, though some pieces usually are kept at stable temperature and moisture levels, officials said.
The metal building, part of the Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland, houses about 1,500 artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum, including parts of aircraft and spacecraft and about 800 pieces of aviation and space-themed artwork.
“Right now, the building is still standing,” said museum spokeswoman Claire Brown, adding that shelving units inside were supporting the structure. “We’re confident the portion of the collection that’s in there is OK.”
TWT RELATED STORY: Round 2: Blizzard hits Mid-Atlantic
The flown artifacts could be from any era, ranging from the space shuttle program to Apollo or earlier, she said. All the pieces are considered valuable, Ms. Brown said, but curators didn’t identify any piece as more valuable than others.
Emergency crews shut off power and natural gas service to the building when the collapse was discovered early Wednesday, Prince George’s County fire department spokesman Mark Brady said. Authorities determined the building was unstable but weren’t sure what artifacts were inside.
“At this time, they are exposed to some of the elements,” Mr. Brady said.
Artwork in the building, including posters, paintings and sculpture, was kept in a sealed, insulated box, Ms. Brown said. There was no other power source for the building. Curators noted, though, that they usually keep artifacts at cool temperatures for preservation purposes.
“At this point, we’re not worried about the falling temperatures or any other risks associated with the power being cut to the collection,” Ms. Brown said.
A collection of historic spacesuits from Apollo moon walks is kept in a secure building nearby but was not affected.
The expansive museum storage and processing facility in Maryland includes buildings from the 1950s, Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said. The building that collapsed was set for demolition in the coming years, and many air and space artifacts will be moved to a new restoration facility in Virginia.
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- ON THE RUN: Competition for Redskins backup running back is heating up
- Obama vows veto of House border bill
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors