Tag: Smithsonian Institution

1879 Smithsonian Construction

This great old photo shows the Arts and Industries Building on the Mall under construction in 1879. The...

Smithsonian Castle in 1856

What a lovely old photo of the Smithsonian Castle in 1856. Click on it for incredible details. The...
Proposed design for Smithsonian Institution Building by John Notman, north front elevation. It is a Gothic design with three stories, a central tower/cupola, crenellated embattlements, and symmetrical wings. The design was submitted for the competition sponsored by the Building Committee of the Board of Regents, December 23, 1846

Unbuilt 1846 Proposed Design for Smithsonian Castle

What a fascinating old drawing from 1846. This is the proposed design for the Smithsonian Castle, Source: Smithsonian Archives
View of the Smithsonian Institution Building looking east up B Street (Independence Ave) towards the U.S. Capitol. Grounds are landscaped following a plan laid out by Andrew Jackson Downing, with the Castle nestled among trees. Visible amidst the trees is the Magnetic Observatory, built in 1853. People stand along the fence installed along the sidewalk on B Street In this image, the central roof of the Castle is intact and the small towers have the caps on them. In January of 1865, a fire destroyed the central roof and the caps on the towers, so this photograph had to have been taken prior to January 1865 and is most likely April 1863. The Capitol dome, seen in the distance, is not yet completed

Look at the Smithsonian and Capitol in 1865

What an awesome photo from the Civil War era. You're looking up what is Independence Ave. today. Source: Smithsonian Archives
view of Mall from Smithsonian

Beautiful Western View of Washington Monument From Smithsonian

What a beautiful view of the Mall from the Smithsonian. This was taken in the early 20th century. Source: Library of Congress
Third in a series of four panoramic photographs of Washington, D.C., from left to right (west to east) taken from a tower in the Smithsonian Institution Building. The Mall area is covered with trees. The streets on the left perpendicular to the Mall are 12th Street and 11th Street. The long building on the right is Center Market bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. Up and behind Center Market on the right, the large building is the Pension Bureau Building bounded by F and G Streets, N.W., between 4th and 5th Streets, designed by General Montgomery C. Meigs, completed in 1887, later occupied by many government agencies and now known as the National Building Museum

1886 Panorama of D.C. from Smithsonian Castle

What an incredible 360-degree panorama of Washington from 1886. This image was taken from the top of the Smithsonian Castle. Don't miss it!

Really Old Pre-Civil War Photo of Washington

Now this is a really super old photo of Washington from around 1857. Click on it for a much larger version to...
Aerial View of the Smithsonian

Painting of Aerial View of Smithsonian (1936)

This is a beautiful painting done by Jex Garnet Garnet Jex in 1936. Source: Smithsonian
Looking south from the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, the silhouette of the Smithsonian Institution Building is seen in the distance. The photograph, taken by William Henry Holmes and signed "W.H.H. Phot.," shows horse-drawn carriages along the avenue of storefronts. Above the first building to the right of 11th Street, the sign reads "Latimer & Cleary Auction and Commission Merchants", the next building has a sign "Star Buildings," and the third building "Metropolitan."

Smithsonian Institution Building from Pennsylvania Avenue in 1874

We are loving the Smithsonian Archives! This is a great one from 1874.
Aerial view from the Washington Monument showing the "Tempos" or temporary buildings before their demolition. They were located on the site of the future National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), now the National Museum of American History (NMAH)

Temporary Wartime Buildings on the Mall as Viewed from the Washington...

This is a view from the top of the Washington Monument, sometime late in 1940s. You'll see old temporary buildings occupying the current site...
At the turn of the century, visitors are entering and leaving the United States National Museum Building, now Arts and Industries Building, via the North Entrance. The entrance has glass doors, which dates it to before the Hornblower and Marshall designed doors installed between 1902-1907

Visitors Head to the Smithsonian in the Early 1900s

This is an old photograph we dug up on the Smithsonian's Flickr feed. It shows a crowd of people near the entrance to the...
Smithsonian Castle between 1860 and 1865

Amazing Photograph of the Smithsonian Castle

Thank you Shorpy for an amazing photograph. This appears to be a photo we haven't yet seen.
West-southwest view with Maryland Ave. SW and B Street SW

1863 View Down Maryland Ave.

Wow, check out this amazing view. We dug up this gem on the Library of Congress site. The full caption is below. West-southwest view with...
Capitalsaurus Court street sign

Capitalsaurus: Official Dinosaur of the District (Seriously)

Workers were digging a sewer trench beneath a Capitol Hill street in 1898.  They came upon a few fossil fragments -- among them, a...
Daniel H. Riggs, Howard University Medicine, in the South Yard of the Smithsonian Institution Building, stands next to his carriage. Picture shows the East Wing after Adolph Cluss' 1884 renovation. Against the building are sheds, used by the Department of Living Animals, 1887-1890 (Smithsonian Archives)

Doctor and His Carriage at the Smithsonian

Here's a photograph from 1890 which shows Dr. Daniel H. Riggs of Howard University posing next to his carriage near the Smithsonian. In 1893, the...
Alligators in their enclosure in the original Animal House, also known as the Carnivora House, which opened in 1892 and was the first permanent building at the National Zoological Park. The alligators are housed in the "temporary" wooden wing of the structure (Smithsonian)

Proposed National Zoo in Rock Creek Park

We are a great nation and Americans in the 1880s were proud of their rapidly growing and dominant country. But how can you truly...
Smithsonian Castle in the 1870s (Shorpy)

The Smithsonian’s English Birth

Some of you may not be aware of this, but an Englishman, who had never set foot in America, provided the financial backing for...
Hirshhorn Museum construction 1972

All Eyes On The Hirshhorn, But It Wasn’t Always Pretty (Or...

This is a guest post by Aaron. Rendering of "SONG 1" (hirshhorn.si.edu) Art fans will focus...
National Zoo lions

Lion Eats Woman At National Zoo

Here is a recent crazy story ... very crazy. This one is from March of 1995, so I'm guessing there are a few of...
Smithsonian Castle in the 1870s (Shorpy)

Great Old Photos of the Smithsonian

I came across so many wonderful old photos of the Smithsonian Castle while poking around different archives online. Here's a sample of some of...