U.S. National Museum Under Construction, by Unknown, 1879, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, The United States National Museum Building, now the Arts and Industries Building, designed by Architects Cluss and Schulze, is under construction, December 1879. Scaffolding is in place around the exterior of the building. The center rotunda has been partially constructed. This view is from the South Tower of the Smithsonian Building, looking east towards the United States Capitol. A very small portion of the Smithsonian Institution Building can be seen on left. The ceremonial ground breaking for the new museum was on April 17, 1879..