WASHINGTON (AP) —  The National Building Museum in Washington has decided to begin charging an admission fee for the first time since it opened in 1985 due to the impact of the recession.

The private, nonprofit museum announced Tuesday it will begin charging $8 for adults and $5 for youth, students with IDs and seniors on June 27.

Executive Director Chase Rynd says the recession has been devastating for arts and culture groups and for the building industry that supports the museum. He says nonprofit groups that wait too long to adjust to new economic realities won’t survive.

The museum instituted its first charge of $5 for the exhibit “Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition,” which opened last July. It has drawn 130,000 visitors.

Many of Washington’s other private museums also charge admission fees.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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