The East and West Court Projects

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Discusses past uses and plans for future utilization of the east and west courtyard spaces of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The author states that the large interior courtyards were originally designed to provide light and ventilation; however, installation of central air and heat, along with changing views on exhibition lighting, altered the original purpose of the courtyards. Plans include construction of infill buildings for each courtyard: one with a child care center for the east courtyard, and one housing a Discovery Center for the west.


  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Hornblower & Marshall


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Article includes an architectural sketch of NMNH's ground floor.

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

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


Spring 1995


  • Museum buildings
  • Design
  • Courtyards
  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Architecture--Design and plans
  • Architectural firms


Washington (D.C.)

Physical description

pgs. 7 & 8

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