Smithsonian warehouse damaged; roof collapsed under the snow.

11 February 2010

Around 0700 EST5EDT today, one of the warehouses maintained by the Smithsonian Institution sustained damage when its roof collapsed under the weight of all the snow. Technically referred to as the Smithsonian Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland, the warehouse is used to store artifacts not currently on display at any of the Smithsonian-related facilities. Some of the photographs taken today show that the walls of the warehouse buckled as the roof gave way. It is said that the artifacts stored therein are packed in protective containers but a full report is unavailable at this time because the building itself is considered unstable. For what it's worth, many of the artifacts stored there are in the process of being transferred to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Looking at those pictures, I can't help but wonder: those walls look like tin siding and not much else. Does the Smith have other, better constructed warehouses? Is the reason this one's being phased out because, from appearances, it looks like a tin shack? Are they all like this? What's the status of its contents? How badly damaged is it?