Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, by Unknown, 1965, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Administrative offices of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon Building, Panama City, December 1965. Housed in the old Ancon courthouse building, the Panama City office provided administrative and logistical support to the scientists conducting research on Barro Colorado Island located in Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal watershed. This tropical laboratory, called the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA), and later renamed the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1946..