11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Arts & Industries Building of Smithsonian Institution

Year Listed: 2006
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect

The Arts and Industries Building has been empty for two years.


Originally known as the National Museum and erected to house the collections of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building was the very first Smithsonian museum on the National Mall and functioned as the Smithsonian's only museum until the completion of the National Museum of Natural History in 1910. The Arts and Industries Building is generally considered the masterpiece of architect Adolf Cluss, who designed more than 70 buildings in Washington during his prolific career.