Proposal to Renovate the East Wing of SIB

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


A letter from Secretary Spencer F. Baird is laid before the United States Congress proposing to have the interior of the Smithsonian Institution Building East Wing remodeled and fireproofed, including a new arrangment of floors, partitions, and roofs, which would double the internal capacity of the building without disturbing its present architectural style. The wing, which was not damaged by the 1865 fire, had a wood and plaster interior at the time of the remodelling request. To support his request, Baird includes an extract from a building inspector's report noting that the east wing and connecting corridor contain all the records and valuable documents of the Institution. As the interior is entirely of wood, the report recommends the wing be completely cleared out and rebuilt and furnished with improved modes of communication and egress.


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


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1882. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1884, p. 4-5.
  • Rhees, William Jones. The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History: 1835-1899, Vol. 1, 1835-1887. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901, p. 891-893.

Contact information

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


March 15, 1882


  • Architecture
  • Secretaries
  • Fire
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Archives
  • Buildings
  • Fires
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction

Full Record

View Full Record