Exterior of the U.S. National Museum (A&I Building)

Baird's Dream

History of the Arts and Industries Building

Second Smithsonian Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird’s lifelong dream came true when the first United States National Museum building opened in 1881. Take a tour of this building, now called the Arts and Industries Building, from the time it opened to the 21st century, and explore how Baird’s dream shaped the Smithsonian’s mission.

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