Historical Background

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Outlines the history of the Old Court of Claims building, which was designed by James Renwick. The building was seized during construction to house supplies for the Union Army. It was later returned, and it served as the original home of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. When the gallery moved due to a shortage of space, the building was purchased by the Government for the Court of Claims. Discusses the renovation of the building and the possibility of transferring it to the care of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art
  • Renwick Gallery


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Smithsonian Institution Archives, Rec. Unit 99, Box 69, Folder 1

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Contact information

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


  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Restoration
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • History
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction
  • Building
  • Art--History
  • Buildings

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