Smithsonian Institution Building, Washington DC

(4.4/5 based on 3,200+ reviews on the web)
Constructed of Seneca red sandstone in a faux Norman style that combines elements of late Romanesque and early Gothic architecture, Smithsonian Institution Building houses a visitor center and the administrative offices of over a dozen specialized museums. Nicknamed the "Castle" and finished in 1855, this building consists of a central section, two extensions, and two wings. Four large and five smaller towers are primarily decorative. Two galleries on the second floor contain the visitor information area, which offers free Wi-Fi, interactive displays, and maps. Use the visitor center's computers to find answers to most common questions about this complex of museums, or walk through the northern entrance to visit the tomb of the institution's founder, chemist and mineralogist James Smithson. A visit to Smithsonian Institution Building represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Washington DC vacation planner to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Smithson crypt is located immediately inside. Brought his body back from Italy! The original Building is architect designed like a Castle. The garden areas are manicured with flower gardens and pathwa...  more »
  • Smithsonian castle is a great place for you to start your tour around the National Mall. It is an information center than open before other museums, so you can plan your visit before hitting off. Mr.S...  more »
  • A castle in the center of DC, the guys really are Eccentrics (to say the least). He is currently the administrative headquarters of the Smithsonian group that control several museums in DC and also in New York. Little presents an exhibition about the founder of the Institute and various information about all museums. The gardens are a highlight, even in winter were very well taken care of.
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