East Wing of SIB Converted to Work Areas

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Declining the privilege of living rent-free in the Smithsonian Building, Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird converts the east wing into offices and workrooms. Also, the previous July, he had installed a system of electric bells and telephones throughout the building, as a time-saver for persons communicating among the various offices and workrooms.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building East Wing


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • The Board of Regents, in their January 17th, 1879 meeting, vote to allow Baird $100. a month for rent, fuel, gas, etc. since he relinquished the Henry apartments for the use of the Institution.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897., p. 839
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1878, p. 11, 142

Contact information

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


December 15, 1878


  • Architecture
  • Electricity
  • Telephone
  • Secretaries
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • Buildings
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction

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