Elevation of the Smithsonian Institution Building's North Facade

ID: SIA2012-1143

Creator: Renwick, James 1818-1895

Form/Genre: Paper

Date: 1846

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 92, Item 289

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  • This drawing, done in pencil on paper by architect James Renwick, Jr., depicts the north facade (without the east and west wings) of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle. Renwick prepared this Gothic scheme as a developmental study in which he experimented with style and balance of the design.
  • James Renwick, Jr., began his design of the Smithsonian Institution Building with a Gothic castle and eventually reworked it into a Romanesque castle. This later scheme won him the competition in 1846 to appoint an architect for the design of the Smithsonian's first building.


  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Competition
  • Smithsonian Institution Building North Towers


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 92, Item 289

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu



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  • Design
  • Towers
  • Architecture
  • Architecture, Romanesque
  • North Front
  • Smithsonian Institution Building
  • Drawings
  • Architecture, Gothic
  • Buildings
  • Architectural drawing
  • Architecture--Design and plans
  • Architectural design
  • Smithsonian Institution Building--North Front


  • Paper
  • Drawing

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1 Color: Color ; Size: 10.5w x 7.9h ; Type of Image: Architectural Drawing ; Medium: Paper

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