The Washington Armory Building, by Unknown, c. 1880, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, The Washington Armory Building, also known as the Columbian Armory, located between 6th and 7th Streets, was built in 1855 and razed in 1964. The Armory was used by the Smithsonian Institution staff to house the government collections transferred from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and was used as the headquarters for the United States Fish Commission, founded by second Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird. Today, the site is now occupied by the National Air and Space Museum..