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Tour: The Smithsonian Institution Arts and Industries Building

Arts and Industries Building Central Rotunda

In 1879, Cluss & Schulze, one of Washington, D.C.’s most prominent and prolific architectural firms, was commissioned to design the National Museum. It was designed in what Cluss termed a “modernized Romanesque style” and was intended to complement the existing Smithsonian Institution Building and to fulfill “modern demands of perfect safety and elegance of construction.” Today, the structure is known as the Arts and Industries Building.

Join the AIA|DC Committee on Architecture for Education and Smithsonian Institution staff members to explore the building’s history of innovative construction techniques and various occupant uses over the years. Attendees will also get a close look at the ongoing renovation and preservation efforts and discuss the possible future uses of the building.

Organized by: AIA|DC Committee on Architecture for Education and AIA|DC Public Architects Committee

After attending this event, participants will be able to:
1. Analyze how the building helps the Smithsonian Institution to determine research and preservation procedures for its various collections and the importance of sharing these collections with the public;
2. Explain the history of innovative construction techniques at the Arts and Industries Building and identify how the space has been used over the years;
3. Identify 19th century day-lighting and ventilation strategies and describe the modernized Romanesque style used in the construction of the Arts and Industries Building;
4. Investigate preservation methods and renovation objectives for the Arts and Industries Building.