The Smithsonian Castle: The Politics of Public Architecture

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Discusses the concepts underlying the design of the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle," including the roles of Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph Henry, Robert Mills, Robert Dale Owen, and James Renwick, Jr. Discusses controversies surrounding selection of an architect and design and Henry's opposition to a monumental building.


  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Mills, Robert 1781-1855
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Master's thesis, later published as America's Castle: The Evolution of the Smithsonian Building and Its Institution, 1840-1878 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984).

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




  • Architecture
  • SI, Early History
  • Buildings


Washington (D.C.)

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