The BBC reports that it’s putting its historic Mayfair property on the market with an asking price of £60 million ($96 million). The Royal Institution was founded in 1799 to promote scientific study and education. It hosts numerous lectures, a video channel, and there’s a museum dedicated to Faraday on site.
Michael Faraday’s 19th century experiments, many of which took place in the institution’s building, led to the practical use of electricity.
The institution has been in financial difficulty for several years and hoped to turn itself around with a major remodel. Unfortunately, the cost of doing that was not matched by new income and donations.
One scientist I spoke to who has lectured at the Royal Institution says that this announcement may be a cry for help to get more donations. I hope she’s correct. I wouldn’t want to lose such an important landmark in the middle of my favorite city.
[Photo courtesy Mike Peel]