The Smithsonian Institution Building, better known by its nickname the Smithsonian Castle as it is seen from across the National Mall in Washington DC.
A national design competition was held to select the design for the Castle. James Renwick, Jr., the architect that designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, won by a unanimous vote.
The building was completed in 1855. The original design called for white sandstone or marble, but it was built out of Seneca red sandstone from Maryland since it was considerably cheaper. It was designed in the Norman style, which is a combination of Gothic and Romanesque Revival.
It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Copyright 2020 Susan Rissi Tregoning
March 27th, 2020
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