Smithsonian’s “Castle” to close for its first major renovation in 50 years

Hear ye, hear ye! The Smithsonian’s “Castle” is closing.

Not for good, though—don’t worry. The Smithsonian Institution Building, a.k.a. the Castle, is closing for a much-needed renovation on February 1. The repairs and upgrades to the 1850s building—the Smithsonian’s first home—will be the most substantial in five decades, with elements across the structure getting a top to bottom refresh.

Designed by James Renwick Jr. and completed in 1855, the National Historic Landmark–listed property houses the Smithsonian’s Visitor Center, a gift shop, cafe, an a small survey display of items from the collection, while the nonpublic spaces largely serve as the Institution’s administrative headquarters. While

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