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The Smithsonian Castle

It's a beautiful old American Castle that was completed in 1855.

The name "Smithsonian" is world famous and has a reputation of high quality. And it's mission is to bring the sciences to the public.

And this building is where it all started.

I thought it was a visitor site unto itself but it is more of a welcome center for the whole smithsonian campus of museums. But you can go inside and see some of the castle aspects of it.

I believe this is where they house a lot of the administrative personnel for smithsonian.


It was a rainy day when I visited the Smithsonian Castle.

Have you ever heard of the Mall of America? It is not a shopping mall. It is this area in Washington DC that has THe WHite House, The lincoln Memorial, Various Smithsonian buildings and this castle. Want to see more of the Mall of America? I have pics and info here: The Mall of America


Here is a model of the castle. This model is on display inside the Castle. This is the actual model that the architect made as a proposal to building the castle.

They do have some interesting stuff on the ground level that is specifically for visitors.

I love this large room and that flower shaped window is a common theme first started at Notre Dame Cathedral in France.




This is the resting place of Smithson who proposed and funded the start of the Smithsonian.


This page you are on discusses the Smithsonian Castle. I do have lots more stuff including pictures of the monuments right here: The Monuments and buildings in Washington DC.


Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry

British scientist James Smithson left a fortune to the country he so admired but had never visited. His gift founded the Smithsonian Institution and built the Smithsonian Castle. Today, the castle's distinct Romanesque facade glows warmly against the cool marble that dominates the National Mall. Yet the story of the stones is just as remarkable as that of the building that they grace. It was a boom-bust ride for the Seneca Quarry--the source of the red sandstone. The quarry saw its first developer die, filed for bankruptcy twice, suffered through floods and contributed to a national scandal that embarrassed the Grant presidency and helped bring down the Freedman's Bank. This is the untold history of the quarry owners and emancipated slaves who toiled there and the many people who work to this day to save Seneca. Join author Garrett Peck as he traces the unlikely story of the Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry.