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Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian Institution Building is a great place to start exploring Washington DC.

Smithsonian Castle

The Smithsonian Castle, located in Washington D.C., is the original building of the Smithsonian Institution and serves as its headquarters. 

The building was designed by the architect James Renwick Jr. and was completed in 1855. It was one of the first Smithsonian buildings and served as the home of the Smithsonian's collections and research activities.

The building was intended to be a symbol of the nation's scientific and cultural aspirations and its architectural style is a mix of different styles such as gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance.

The Smithsonian Castle was originally built to house the Smithsonian's entire collection, but as the collection grew, it quickly became too small to accommodate everything. Today, the Castle serves as the Smithsonian's administrative center and houses exhibition galleries, a research library, and administrative offices.

The Smithsonian Castle is filled with unique features like

  • An observatory tower, which was used by Smithsonian staff for scientific research and observation, but it is not open to the public.

  •  "Castle Clock", which is one of the most accurate timekeepers in the world. The clock was designed and built by the famous clockmaker Simon Willard and it was installed in 1855. It has been keeping time continuously since then, except during maintenance and repairs.

The Smithsonian Castle also has a beautiful garden called "Enid A. Haupt Garden" which is open to the public and is a popular spot for visitors to relax and enjoy the scenery. The garden features a variety of plants, flowers and sculptures, and is a great place to take a break from visiting the Smithsonian museums.

The Smithsonian Castle serves as an important historical landmark and a symbol of the Smithsonian Institution's dedication to advancing knowledge and understanding of the world. It is a unique architectural masterpiece that showcases the Smithsonian's commitment to preserving and sharing the nation's cultural heritage.

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