Court of Claims Transfer Letter

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  • L. E. Nunnally, Regional Director, Utilization and Disposal Services, U.S. General Services Administration, writes to Acting Smithsonian Secretary James C. Bradley, formally transferring to the Smithsonian the old Court of Claims building, located across from the White House, to serve as a "gallery of arts, crafts and design." The property is transferred pursuant to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended. In June of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson had approved the transfer, pending receipt from the Congress of an appropriation to fund the renovation of the historic structure. Funding was received and the building was transferred. This use complemented the recent renovation of buildings in the adjacent Lafayette Square.
  • The Court of Claims building was originally designed to be the Corcoran Gallery of Art by architect James Renwick, Jr., who also designed the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle." It served as the first Corcoran Gallery from 1869 to 1897 and was acquired by the U.S. government in 1901. After renovation, the Renwick Gallery opened in 1972 as a gallery devoted to American arts and crafts, a unit of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


  • Johnson, Lyndon B (Lyndon Baines) 1908-1973
  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Bradley, James C. 1910-1984
  • Renwick Gallery
  • United States President (1963-1969 : Johnson)
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • United States General Services Administration
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Renwick Transfer Memo 07/20/1966
  • Manuscript Letter

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Office of the Secretary, Records, Record Unit 99, Box 69, Folder 1

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


  • July 20, 1966
  • 1961-1970


  • Conservation and restoration
  • Art museums
  • Architecture
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • Interagency Transfers
  • Acting Secretaries
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction
  • Architecture--Conservation and restoration


Washington (D.C.)


Letters (correspondence)

Physical description

Number of pages: 02; Page numbers: 1-2

Full Record

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