The Smithsonian West Wing Detail - Red - Framed & Mounted Print

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The Smithsonian Institution building, generally known as “The Castle” is the most significant secular example of the romantic phase of the Romanesque Revival ever erected in America. In 1846, a major architectural competition for the building was won by James Renwick Jr., already noted as the architect of Grace Church and subsequently the designer of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Publication of Renwick' s Smithsonian Castle in Robert Dale Owen's Hints on Public Architecture in 1849 spread the building's fame afar. Construction on the East and West Wings of The Castle commenced in 1847. In 1852 Smithsonian secretary Joseph Henry's plan for the central block was substituted for Renwick’s plan after the latter's Great Hall collapsed. Renwick’s exterior was retained, and in 1855 the building was completed. Extensive enlargements and alterations came in 1884, when Adolph Cluss added two stories to the East Wing and one story to the East Range. Architect Cluss also altered the West Range, enclosing it, and remodeled the present lounge. Further changes came in 1914, when the Great Hall built after the fire of 1865 was shortened at each end by three bays into which mezzanines were inserted. Major interior changes occurred during 1967 when two floors of offices for the Wilson Fellows were inserted above most of the main floor in the central block. The original height of the second floor was retained in the Wilson Library. Although considerable portions of the interior have been altered to meet the exigencies unforeseen by Renwick, most of the Great Hall and the main floor of the West Wing remain relatively unchanged, and the original exterior with Cluss’s additions of 1884 is intact.

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The U.S. Capitol Building - Dome Cross Section - White - Framed & Mounted Print
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