Smithsonian Institution Building


Smithsonian Institution Building

:"For similar uses and terms, see Smithsonian (disambiguation)."Infobox_nrhp | name =Smithsonian Building
nrhp_type =nhl



caption = The Castle
location= Washington, D.C.
lat_degrees = 38
lat_minutes = 53
lat_seconds = 18.92
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 77
long_minutes = 1
long_seconds = 35.01
long_direction = W
area =
built =1855
architect= James Renwick
designated= January 12, 1965
added = October 15, 1966
governing_body = Smithsonian Institution
refnum=66000867 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
The Smithsonian Institution Building, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. behind the National Museum of African Art, houses the Smithsonian Institution's administrative offices and information center. The building is constructed of red sandstone in the faux Norman style (a 12th-century combination of late Romanesque and early Gothic motifs) and is appropriately nicknamed The Castle.

History

It was the first Smithsonian building, begun in 1847 by architect James Renwick, Jr., whose other works include St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, also in Washington D.C. In August 1853, the Smithsonian's Board of Regents declared that the work of the original architect, James Renwick, Jr., was done. Lieutenant Barton S. Alexander of the U.S. Army Topographic Engineers was asked to take up the architect's responsibilities for the slowly progressing Smithsonian Building. Under his supervision, the building was finished in 1855. [Field, Cynthia R. "Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly", "Director's Column: The Second Architect of the Smithsonian Building." Fall 1994 edition. Washington, D.C.] Over the years, several reconstructions have taken place. The first followed a disastrous fire on January 24 1865, which destroyed most of the upper story of the main segment and the north and south towers. In 1884, the east wing was fireproofed and enlarged to accommodate more offices. Remodeling from 1968 to 1969 restored the building to the Victorian atmosphere reminiscent of the era during which it was first inhabited.

This building served as a home for the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, and his family and for many years housed all aspects of Smithsonian operations, including an exhibit hall from 1858 until the 1960s. In 1901, Washington's first children's room was installed in the Castle's South Tower Room where the original decorated ceiling and wall stencils were restored in 1987. Located inside near the north entrance is the crypt of James Smithson, benefactor of the Institution, while outside on the Mall, a bronze statue of Joseph Henry, executed by William Wetmore Story, honors the scientist who was the Institution's first secretary. In 1996, as the Smithsonian celebrated its 150th anniversary, a bell was added. Although Renwick had intended for a bell in his original plan, there was not enough money to add it to the Castle. It now chimes hourly.

Current use

The Smithsonian Castle acts as the 'brain' of the Smithsonian, in that it houses all the administrative offices and carries out all Smithsonian operations. In addition, the main Smithsonian visitor center is also located here, with interactive displays and maps. Computers electronically answer most common questions.

Gallery

References

External links

* [http://www.si.edu/visit/infocenter/sicastle.htm Smithsonian Institution Building official site]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Smithsonian Institution Building — Das Smithsonian Institution Building, liegt an der National Mall in Washington, D.C. und beherbergt die Verwaltung und das Service Center der Smithsonian Institution. Das Gebäude wurde mit rotem Sandstein im Norman Style (eine Mischung der späten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian Institution — Smithsonian redirects here. For other uses, see Smithsonian (disambiguation). Smithsonian Institution Rear view of The Castle , the Institution s headquarters Established August 10, 1846 …   Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian Institution — (Smithsonian) Zweck: Stiftung Vorsitz: G. Wayne Clough Gründungsdatum: 10. August 1846 Sitz: Wa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian Institution — Informations géographiques Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries — The Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL) system comprises 20 libraries serving the various Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers. SIL s holdings include 1.5 million volumes as well as a wide array of digital resources. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian Institution —    James Smithson (1765 1829), an English chemist and mineralogist, was born in France, the illegitimate son of Sir Hugh Smithson (Percy) and Elizabeth Keate Macie. He made many important analyses of minerals and discovered an important zinc ore… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION —    a celebrated American institution for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men, in Washington; founded and endowed by James Macie Smithson, a natural son of the Duke of Northumberland, a zealous chemist and mineralogist, after having… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Smithsonian National Zoological Park — The front entrance to the National Zoo Date opened 1889; 121 years ago (1889)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum — Eingang des Smithsonian American Art Museum und des National Portrait Gallery Reynolds Center Daten Ort Washington, D.C …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute — Date opened 1974 Location Front Royal, Virginia, USA Land area 3,200 acres (13 km2) Coordinates …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.