Elevation and Partial Plan of the Smithsonian Institution Building's Northeast Tower

ID: SIA2012-0411 and 92-9494

Creator: Renwick, James 1818-1895

Form/Genre: Paper

Date: 1846

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 92, Box 7, Item S11/293

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
Download IIIF ManifestRequest permissionsDownload image Print


  • This drawing, drafted by architect James Renwick, Jr., depicts his Romanesque scheme for the Smithsonian Institution Building. It is an elevation and partial plan of the northeast tower on the main block of the proposed building. Converging perspective lines are drawn from the plan, but no perspective exists. The original drawing is in pencil on paper.
  • 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 North Towers
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Competition


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • See Neg. #s SIA2012-0407, SIA2012-0408, SIA2012-0409, SIA2012-0410, and SIA2012-0412 for additional sketches by Renwick.
  • Part of a collection of 16 Renwick drawings which were acquired 8/21/1991. This drawing matches William Pierson's sheet 31 from the collection of original Renwick drawings. See "Renwick Drawings" binder for more information.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 92, Box 7, Item S11/293

Contact information

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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Design
  • Architecture
  • Architecture, Romanesque
  • Drawings
  • Architecture, Gothic
  • Buildings
  • Architectural drawing
  • Architecture--Design and plans
  • Architectural design


  • Paper
  • Drawing

ID Number

SIA2012-0411 and 92-9494

Physical description

Number of Images: 1 Color: Color; Size: 8.75w x 13h ; Type of Image: Architectural Drawing; Medium: Paper

Full Record

View Full Record