Smithsonian Castle

(Visited 28 October 2016) Known today as the “Smithsonian Castle” this building is the original Smithsonian Institution Building, which “was built in 1847-1855 to accommodate collections, exhibitions, public lectures, and offices and housing for scholarly staff.” These days, it “houses the Smithsonian Information Center, the Institution’s administrative offices, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars”along with a few interesting exhibits. Here are a few pictures from my quick visit to the Castle.

Smithsonian Castle
Exterior of the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
Exterior of the Smithsonian Castle which statue of Joseph Henry, first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Castle
Exterior of the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
Interior of the large exhibit room in the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
The large exhibit room in the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
The ceiling of the large exhibit room in the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
The crypt in the Smithsonian Castle where James Smithson remains reside
Smithsonian Castle
Tomb of James Smithson in the Smithsonian Crypt in the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
Bust of James Smithson by Felix deWeldon, the same artist who sculpted the Marine Corps War Memorial (often called the Iwo Jima Memorial)
Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonite, named after James Smithson who identified it as zinc carbonate.
Smithsonian Castle
A display, with model, of the Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
Fall Front Desk, ca. 1835-1840. A rare example of furniture manufactured in D.C. by a company located at various addresses on Pennsylvania Avenue in the mid-1800s (I want one).
Smithsonian Castle
Fragment of the Wright Brother’s hanger in North Carolina, 1903
Smithsonian Castle
Fragments of the Hindenburg, 1937, which burst into flames 6 May 1937 at Lakehurst, NJ
Smithsonian Castle
Heat shields from a Gemini spacecraft, 1965-66 (top); Insulation tile from the space shuttle Columbia, 1981
Smithsonian Castle
Early Edison light bulb with bamboo filament, 1882.
Smithsonian Castle
A bird-eating tarantula.
Smithsonian Castle
Flying helmet worn by Chuck Yeager
Smithsonian Castle
Experimental full pressure helmet worn by Wiley Post, who was instrumental in developing the world’s first practical pressure suit, 1934-35.
Smithsonian Castle
Dining service from the Air France Concorde, ca. 1976.
Smithsonian Castle
Carved mahogany arm chair, ca. 1860, originally owned by Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War 1862-1865.

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1 From the Smithsonian Castle display in the Smithsonian Castle.

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