Number of Images: 2; Color: Color; Size: 8w x 10.5h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper
June 22, 1965
Civil War, 1861-1865
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
SIA2011-1433 is page 1 and SIA2011-1434 is page 2.
A letter from S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson requesting that the U.S. Court of Claims Building be transferred to Smithsonian custody for use as a museum.
William Wilson Corcoran began construction on his gallery of art at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in 1859 and hired as the architect James Renwick, Jr., who had designed the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle." The building was seized by the government in 1861 and used as a warehouse and office space for Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs during the Civil War. The building was eventually returned to Corcoran, and opened as his art gallery in 1872. When his collection outgrew the space, he built a new gallery nearby. The building was then used as the U.S. Court of Claims Building until 1965, when it was transferred to the Smithsonian, and renovated for use as the Renwick Gallery of Art devoted to American crafts and decorative arts.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 99, Box 69, Folder 1