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Smithsonian Castle - Smithsonian Institution Building


Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Smithsonian Castle, officially named the Smithsonian Institution Building, houses the administrative offices and the Information Center for the world class museums in Washington DC. This Victorian style, red sandstone building was built in 1855 and was originally the home of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, and his family. The building is the oldest on the National Mall and served as the museum's first exhibit hall from 1858 until the 1960s.

The Smithsonian Castle is centrally located on the National Mall and serves as good place to start a tour of the Smithsonian museums. You can view a 24-minute video on the Smithsonian and learn about other Washington, DC attractions as well. The main information area has two large models of the Mall and two electronic maps of Washington, DC. Volunteer Information Specialists are available to provide free maps and help you plan your sightseeing itinerary. There is also a café and free wifi.

1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC
The closest Metro station is the Smithsonian
See a map and directions to the National Mall

8:30am to 5:30pm daily. Closed December 25.

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