The Ripley Years: Expansion and Restoration

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The full title, "The Ripley Years: Expansion and Restoration. And, to put it politely, still more architectural diversity" sums up the themes of this essay. The author traces the growth of Smithsonian museum buildings on the National Mall under Secretary S. Dillon Ripley (1964-1985), both the construction of new ones and renovation of historic buildings. The author commends Ripley's willingness to try new approaches but concludes that the buildings are nice but not great architectural achievements, like the Castle.


  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Smithsonian Institution Quadrangle Complex
  • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Museum of African Art (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • National Air and Space Museum


Smithsonian History Bibliography


Dean is Senior Editor of AIA Journal

Contained within

AIA Journal (Journal)

Contact information

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




  • Design
  • Museum buildings
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Architecture
  • Development of
  • Architecture--Conservation and restoration
  • Architecture--Design and plans


  • Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Mall
  • Washington (D.C.)

Physical description

Number of pages: 08; Page numbers: 54-61

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