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Despite Threats, Smithsonian’s 2011 Budget Stays Largely Intact

Remember all that hemming and hawing, less than a month before the Wojnarowicz-Gate, pulled-art story broke, about how the Smithsonian was going to have their annual budget slashed to oblivion and would be forced to start charging a weirdly-specific entrance fee of $7.50 per visitor? Turns out that seems relatively all show, as details of their appropriation from Congress have now been released. While there have been some cuts (according to Bloomberg, these are largely “a small reduction for salaries and expenses”), it seems far short than the dire situation predicted a few months back. Last year the organization received $761.4 million. This year, they’ll receive $759.6 million, a difference of $1.8 million. Here’s a bit more on where some of that money will be going:

  • National Museum of American History: $18 million to convert the parking garage into useable space for collections storage (swing space) during the next renovation phase (west wing).
  • National Museum of Natural History: $16.6 million to replace the 40-year-old mechanical and electrical systems and continue replacing windows in the main building.
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center: $8.2 million for a laboratory and support facility to replace temporary trailers that have deteriorated.
  • National Zoo: $11.4 million for continued infrastructure work, repairs of the seals and sea lions pool and renovation of a training and education center at the Zoo’s facility in Front Royal, Va.
  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum: $9 million for renovation of the Carnegie Mansion that houses the museum, including replacing the main elevator and upgrading the building’s systems.
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