The Smithsonian Building and Grounds

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Discusses plans for the Smithsonian Institution Building, including early debates over the use of the Smithson Bequest, the role of Robert Dale Owen, design by James Renwick, Jr., construction, use, the fire of 1865; construction of the United States National Museum building (Arts and Industries Building) and Astrophysical Observatory; and design of surrounding grounds and statue of Joseph Henry.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • South Yard
  • United States National Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of its First Half Century (Book)

Contact information

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




  • Smithson Bequest
  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Fire
  • Congressional Debates
  • SI, Early History
  • Grounds
  • Statues
  • Art objects
  • Buildings
  • Facilities
  • Fires


Mall, The (Washington, D.C.)

Physical description

pp. 247-264

Full Record

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