Construction of Freer Gallery of Art, 1917, by Unknown, 1917, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Laying of the foundation for the new Freer Gallery of Art, March 6, 1917. Visible in the background is the brick shed of 1875 called the Laboratory of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution Building, and the Arts and Industries Building. The shed was demolished during the course of construction work. The Freer building was designed by architect Charles A. Platt.