“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Arts and Industries Building

Arts and Industries Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
1. Arts and Industries Building Marker
Inscription. The Arts and Industries Building, the second oldest Smithsonian building, was the first building designed for the National Museum, as the Smithsonian's first museum was known. It was constructed between 1879 and 1881 to meet the need for more exhibition space for the rapidly increasing collections, which included railroad boxcar loads of items from the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The building's first use was for President James Garfield's inaugural ball on March 4, 1881.

The red brick and Ohio sandstone structure was designed in a distinctive Victorian style by Washington architect Adolph Cluss for the firm of Cluss and Schulze in cooperation with Montgomery C. Meigs. It was intended to hose a variety of exhibitions and displays of collections in an adaptable environment.

By the end of the 19th century, the open flow of the original interior plan had been altered by the addition of an extensive system of balconies. Collections were moved from the Arts and Industries Building into newly completed Smithsonian museums as they opened: the National Museum of Natural History in 1911, the National Museum of History and Technology (now American History) in 1964, and the National Air and Space Museum in 1976.

The building was restored to its Victorian appearance for the nation's Bicentennial observance in
Arts and Industries Building image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
2. Arts and Industries Building
1976. In 1999, the Smithsonian Institution began to present changing exhibitions based on Smithsonian collections and research, as well as those from other museums, galleries, universities, and archives. The building was closed to the public in January 2004 to prepare for a major long-term renovation essential to conservation of this historic landmark.
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 38° 53.321′ N, 77° 1.467′ W. Marker is in The National Mall, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Jefferson Drive SW, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Carousel on the Mall, Washington, D.C. (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Jackson Downing (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Spencer Fullerton Baird (about 300 feet away); Original Smithsonian Institution Building (about 400 feet away); Joseph Henry (about 500 feet away); Earth Day Park (about 500 feet away); Enid A. Haupt Garden (about 500 feet away); Petrified Wood (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The National Mall.
Also see . . .
1. Arts and Industries Building Gets a Little Love. Includes a good history of the building. (Submitted on August 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 

2. Wikipedia link for Adolf Cluss, the building's architect. (Submitted on August 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Adolf Cluss, architect.
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 3, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 952 times since then and 26 times this year. Last updated on August 27, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 3, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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