National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum in Washington, D.C. is operated by the Smithsonian Institution and located on the National Mall. It is open 364 days a year and is open to the public for no charge. In 2016, it was the eighth-most visited museum in the world, and the most visited natural history museum in the world, attracting 7.1 million people. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum opened its doors in 1910, was one of the first Smithsonian buildings to be built solely for housing the nation’s collections and research facilities. With an overall floor area of 1.5 million square feet and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space, the main building is home to more than 1,000 employees.

In total, approximately 145 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, and meteorites, as well as human remains and cultural artifacts, are housed in the museum’s collections, making it the world’s largest collection of natural history. There are over 185 professional natural history scientists working there, making it the world’s greatest concentration of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history.


The Smithsonian Institution, which includes the United States National Museum, was established in 1846 as a branch of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution Building, also known as the Smithsonian Castle, was the museum’s first home until it relocated to its current location in the Smithsonian Institution Building. The first formal display hall opened its doors in 1858. Construction of a new facility, the National Museum Building, was required to accommodate the growing collection (known today as the Arts and Industries Building). It was constructed in about 15 months for a total cost of $310,000 on an enormous 2.25-acre site at the time. It first opened its doors in March 1881.

On June 28, 1902, the United States Congress authorized the construction of a new structure. Members of Congress, and officials from the Smithsonian Institution’s board of regents, submitted a report on January 29, 1903, where they requested funding for a considerably larger edifice than had been anticipated. The regents began looking at potential locations for the new building in March, and by April 12, they had chosen a site on the north side of B Street NW between 9th and 12th Streets on the north side of B Street NW. Hornblower & Marshall, an architectural firm based in Washington, D.C. was selected to design the structure. Building the foundations was scheduled to begin in July 1903, with construction estimated to take three years in total.

Image Gallery






Other Nearby Attractions

National Museum of American History

Information Courtesy:

Restoration Champ of Washington DC
National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center gathers, protects, and exhibits the nation’s heritage in the fields of social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history. The museum is located in Washington, D.C., and is open to the public. The original Star-Spangled Banner is on display, and it is one among the many items on show. A branch of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum is located on the National Mall, at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C… Read More

Map Views