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The Smithsonian building architect reports that the contractor, Mr. Cameron, has cut all the stone for the first story of the main building and plans to have that portion under a roof by the winter of 1849-50. The building committee reports that during the year it gave a $1,050 contract to Mr. John Douglass (Rathbun spells it Douglas) for planting a hedge, trees and shrubs, comprising about 160 species of principally American plants. However, the contract was cancelled in 1849. As yet no permanent roads or paths have been laid out from the street to the building.


Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1848. Washington, D.C.: Tippin and Streeper, 1849, p. 50-52.
  • Rathbun, Richard. The United States National Museum: An Account of the Buildings Occupied by the National Collections. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1905. Reprinted from the Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1903, p. 187-188.

Contact information

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


December 31, 1848


  • Architecture
  • Grounds
  • Buildings
  • Building

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