Henry Moves into East Wing; main Smithsonian Building Complete




Date: July 1855


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The upper story of the East Wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building is converted into a residence for Secretary Joseph Henry and his family. Work on the main building is completed, and the final report of the architect approved by the Building Committee. During the year all costs paid for the building, including furniture, fixtures, and grounds, total $19,312.87, bringing the final total spent on the building to $318,727.01.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Smithsonian Institution Building East Wing
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Photograph of Henry Family Apartments in the East Wing of the Smithsonian Castle was taken by Titian Ramsey Peale, 1862. Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number mah-46638c.
  • Field, Cynthia R., Richard E. Stamm, and Heather P. Ewing. The Castle: An Illustrated History of the Smithsonian Building. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993, p. xi
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1855, p. 73.
  • Joseph Henry Letter to Alexander Dallas Bache, July 31-August 4, 1855, Document 153 in Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 9, January 1854-December 1857: The Smithsonian Years. Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2002, pp. 270-274.

Contact information

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


July 1855


  • Architecture
  • Finance
  • Secretaries
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • Buildings
  • Building
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction

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