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OMFR intern tours historical DC Landmarks!

Posted on July 1, 2014 by in The OFI Blog

Michael Hoosier talks about his experience with fellow interns visit historical sites of DC!

Friday, June 13th was anything but unlucky for the interns at the Smithsonian’s Office of Facilities Management and Reliability (OFMR). No, this Friday the 13th was a lucky one as they were given an exclusive after hours tour at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). The purpose of the tour was to give the interns a fuller perspective on what is involved in managing a large facility. Clearly, you can’t expect to have many visitors if you cannot keep them, and your collection, safe. That is where the Office of Protection Services (OPS), comes to join with the facilities management team to fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”


2014 Interns at Entrance to Pentagon 911 Memorial June 2014The Area Security Manager for NMNH Mr. Lawrence Chatman led the two hour long tour, giving the interns a sneak peek at some of the unique aspects of security in the facility. Interns observed closing security procedures, including the locking down of the entire
building, a tour of various checkpoints (including the roof of NMNH!) and even watching the Hope Diamond be “put to rest” for the night. But the tour was not limited to telling impersonal security procedures. Mr. Chatman also shared the story of his long and
successful career with OPS, including his most valuable advice, his best and worst days, and some of the famous faces he’s seen during his time as security personnel. (Hint: Michael Jackson was his favorite celebrity meet-and-greet!)

Mr. Chatman concluded the already memorable tour with a once in a lifetime experience—he took OFMR’s interns to the top of the inner-workings of the building to see the inside of the glass dome. Making their way up into the dark, century-old brick structure was as fascinating as it was (appropriately) spooky, but the interns knew they were in good hands with Mr. Chatman. Along with Mr. Chatman, Judie Cooper of OFMR and experienced Smithsonian photographer Eric Long attended the tour and shared their memories of SI. Together, these three fixtures of the Smithsonian provided OFMR’s interns with a combined 100+ years of experience with SI facilities, protection, and history. This “Night at the Museum” experience was as valuable as it was unforgettable—and most importantly, it was real!