South Mall Campus Cultural Landscape Report
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South Mall CaMPuS Cultural landSCaPe rePort
The Smithsonian Institution is preparing a Cultural Landscape Report in conjunction with the Master Plan Process.
A Cultural Landscape Report is a document created by historians and landscape architects. It explores the history, significance, and integrity of the South Mall Campus and will also provide recommendations for landscape treatments.
The diagrams below trace the evolution of the South Mall Campus over its more than 150-year history.
Site evolution: 1840s-1850s
1846 Smithsonian granted south half of National Mall between Ninth and Twelfth Streets 1849 Cornerstone of Smithsonian Castle laid
1852-1853 Picturesque design of landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing implemented in
Smithsonian Grounds
1855 Castle Lower Main Hall opened to the public
1856 Downing Urn dedicated
Site evolution: 1850s-1890s
Site evolution: 1900s-1940s
1902 McMillan Plan for the development of Washington presented to the public 1904-1911 New National Museum (now the National Museum of Natural History) constructed 1916-1923 Freer Gallery of Art constructed
1917 WWI Quonset hut (“Aircraft Building”) constructed
1930s Extensive grading and planting completed on the National Mall
1942 Current path of Jefferson Drive installed
1860s-1880s 1870s-1900s 1879-1881 1883
A number of “temporary” shed buildings constructed in South Yard Various improvements were undertaken on the Smithsonian Grounds U.S. National Museum (now the Arts and Industries Building) constructed Statue of Joseph Henry dedicated
Army Medical Museum opened
Site evolution: 1960s-1970s
1950s-1970s Southwest DC experiences dramatic changes under urban renewal 1962 Twelfth Street Expressway constructed
1967-1971 Ninth Street tunnel constructed
1976 National Air and Space Museum opened to the public
1969-74 Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden constructed 1976 Victorian Garden and parterre completed in South Yard
Site evolution: 1970s-1980s
1976 Arts and Industries Building reopened to the public
1979-1981 Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden modified
1981 Sensory Garden (later Mary Livingston Ripley Garden) opened to the public 1983-1987 Quadrangle and Haupt Garden constructed
Site evolution: 1980s-PreSent
1988 Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden dedicated
1993 Hirshhorn Plaza modified
1988-1993 Freer Gallery rehabilitated and new north plaza constructed 2001-Present Perimeter security elements installed throughout campus 2006-Present National Mall Plan created and implementation began
South mall campuS cultural landScape report

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