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Today in Smithsonian History
A letter from Secretary Spencer F. Baird is laid before the U.S. Congress proposing to have the interior of the Smithsonian Institution Building East Wing remodeled and fireproofed, including a new arrangement of floors, partitions, and roofs, which would double the internal capacity of the building without disturbing its present architectural style. The wing, which was not damaged by the 1865 fire, had a wood and plaster interior at the time of the remodeling request. To support his request, Baird includes an extract from a building inspector's report noting that the east wing and connecting corridor contain all the records and valuable documents of the Institution. As the interior is entirely of wood, the report recommends the wing be completely cleared out and rebuilt and furnished with improved modes of communication and egress.More