The Second Architect of the Smithsonian Building

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After the work of the Smithsonian Institution Building's original architect, James Renwick, Jr., was declared done by the Board of Regents in 1853, Barton S. Alexander, then a Lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, was asked to take over the architect's duties. In Washington, D.C. working as the architect for the Soldiers' Home, Alexander supervised work until the building's completion in 1855. The article gives brief biographical information concerning Alexander, a West Point graduate, and mentions architectural styles that influenced him.


  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • Alexander, B. S (Barton Stone) 1819-1878
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

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


Fall 1994


  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Biography

Physical description

p. 1

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