The story of the design of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History belies its quietly restrained appearance. The building's architects, Hornblower & Marshall, were not responsible for the prominent Mall façade of the museum and its low Roman dome; rather, these were a secret effort of Charles Follen McKim, who, in turn, asked Daniel II. Burnham to add his ideas to the final composition. This history is entwined with McKim and Burnham's work on the Senate Park Commission (McMillan) plan of 1902. For them, the museum represented the model for all the buildings to be erected on the new National Mall. Although functional needs were an important part of the dialogue, Hornblower & Marshall and McKim and Burnham were most concerned with identifying the appropriate character for the new structure, the former admiring modern French style, the latter advocating a Roman Revival aesthetic. The finished building, the work of all these hands, demonstrates that many practicing architects at the turn of the century valued compromise and collaboration as least as much as they did creativity and independence.

Notes

Notes
2
Glenn Brown, "The twentieth Century Washington," House and Harden 11 (Feb. 1902), 39-56
Brown
Feb.
39
11
House and Harden
1902
"The Work of the Parks Commission at Washing- ton," Architectural Review 9 (Feb. 1902)
Feb.
9
Architectural Review
1902
"The Embellishment of Washing- ton," Municipal Affairs 5 (winter 1901-2), 909-16
winter
909
5
Municipal Affairs
1901
"The Improvement of Washington," Scientific American 86 (15 Feb. 1902), 108
15 Feb.
108
86
Scientific American
1902
"The Fair White City: The Beauty of the Nation's Capital," Current Literature 32 (Mar. 1902), 276-77
Mar.
276
32
Current Literature
1902
Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., "Beautiful Washington," Archi- tects and Builder's Journal 3 (May 1902), 7
Olmsted
May
7
3
Architects and Builder's Journal
1902
Charles Moore, "The Improve- ment of Washington," American Architect and Building News 77 (27 Dec. 1902), 101-2
Moore
27 Dec.
101
77
American Architect and Building News
1902
B. R. Green, "For a Beautiful Washington," Charette 15 (3 Mar. 1906), 824-28
Green
3 Mar.
824
15
Charette
1906
"The Park Commis- sion and the Improvement of Washington City: Press Comments," A.I.A. Quarterly Bulletin 3 (Apr. 1902), 5-16
Apr.
5
3
A.I.A. Quarterly Bulletin
1902
New York Times: "Adornment of Washington," 3 Apr. 1902
3 Apr.
New York Times
1902
"Wash- ington Park Scheme Copies," 25 Dec. 1902
25 Dec.
Washington Park Scheme Copies
1902
"Washington Park Plans," 13 Nov. 1902
13 Nov.
Washington Park Plans
1902
"Embellishment Plans," 3 Mar. 1903
3 Mar.
Embellishment Plans
1903
Corcoran Gallery in a letter to McKim, 24 Dec. 1901
3
Thomas S. Mines, "The Imperial Mall: The City Beautiful Movement and the Washington Plan of 1901-1902," in Richard Longstreth, ed., The Mall in Washington, 1191-1991, Studies in the History of Art 30, 1st ed. (Washington, D.C., 1991), 92-93.
Mines
1
The Imperial Mall: The City Beautiful Movement and the Washington Plan of 1901-1902
92
30
The Mall in Washington, 1191-1991, Studies in the History of Art
1991
4
Glenn Brown, "Personal Reminiscences of Charles Folien McKim; McKim and the Park Commission," Architectural Record 38 (Dec. 1915), 683.
Brown
Dec.
683
38
Architectural Record
1915
5
McKim to Olmsted, 11 Feb. 1904; Olmsted to McKim, 12 Feb. 1904; and Burnham to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie Shaw, 24 July 1903, all Charles Folien McKim Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (here- after CFMP).
6
Theodore Roosevelt, address to the American Institute of Architects (hereafter AIA), 11 Jan. 1905, Washington, D.C.
Charles Moore, The Promise of American Architecture (Washington, D.C., 1905), 15-18
Moore
15
The Promise of American Architecture
1905
7
Charles Moore, Daniel 11. Burnham: Architect, Planner of Cities (Boston, 1921), vol. 1, 221
Moore
221
1
Burnham: Architect, Planner of Cities
1921
8
George Brown Goode, ed., The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century (Washington, D.C., 1897)
Goode
The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century
1897
Geoffrey T. Hcllman, The Smithsonian: Octopus on the Mall (Philadelphia, 1967
Hcllman
The Smithsonian: Octopus on the Mall
1967
William Jones Rhees, ed., The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Rel- ative to Its Origin and History, 1835-1899 (Washington, D.C., 1901)
Rhees
The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History, 1835-1899
1901
Web- ster P. True, The First Hundred ) Years of the Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1946 (Washington, D.C., 1946)
True
The First Hundred ) Years of the Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1946
1946
Wileomb F. Washburn, "Joseph Henry's Con- ception of the Purpose of the Smithsonian Institution," in Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., et al., A Cabinet of Curiosities: Five Episodes in the Evolution of American Museums (Charlottesville, 1967)
Washburn
Joseph Henry's Conception of the Purpose of the Smithsonian Institution
A Cabinet of Curiosities: Five Episodes in the Evolution of American Museums
1967
Cynthia R. Field, Richard Stamm, and I leather Fwing, The Castle: An Illustrated History of the Smithsonian Building (Washington, D.C., 1993)
Field
The Castle: An Illustrated History of the Smithsonian Building
1993
9
Smithsonian Annual Report for the Year 1889 (Washington, D.C., 1889), 5.
5
Smithsonian Annual Report for the Year 1889
1889
10
Anne F. Peterson, Hornblower and Marshall, Architects (Washington, D.C., 1978), 8, 15.
Peterson
8
Hornblower and Marshall, Architects
1978
12
Angus McSwain, "$9,000 Spent on Completed Capital Says Its Super- visor," Philadelphia North American, 3 Oct. 1906
McSwain
3 Oct.
Philadelphia North American
1906
Rathbun to Langley, 25 Jan. 1904, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA
Articles of Agreement, 18 May 1903, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA.
14
"Space estimate for the department of anthropology (1901), Memo- randum on Space Needs from the department of Geology to Richard Rathbun," 13 Feb. 1901
"Memorandum from R. Greare of the Insect Department to Rathbun," 14 Feb. 1901
"William Henry Holmes, Chief of the Department of Anthropology, to Rathbun concerning arrangement of interior spaces," 17 Apr. 1901
"J. Flphreth Watkins, Curator of Engineering, to Rathbun concerning the design," 19 Apr. 1901
Rathbun to G. Merrill, 9 Nov. 1901
F. Watkins to Rath- bun, 22 Nov. 1901
W. Holmes to Rathbun, 25 Nov. 1901, box 1, R.U. 79, SIA.
15
letters such as Holmes to Rathbun, 10 Aug. 1901, R.LJ. 79, box 1, folder 1
True to Rathbun, 28 Aug. 1901, R.U. 79, box 1, folder 1, SIA
16
Rathbun to True, 4 Nov. 1901, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA
17
letter to Rathbun, 10 Aug. 1901, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA
letter of 11 June 1906 from Hornblower to Holmes, R.U. 79, box 2, SIA
18
Hornblower & Marshall to Rathbun, 9 Apr. 1902
Hornblower to Rath- bun, 24July 1902
Rathbun to Hornblower, 22 July 1902, R.U. 79, box 2, SIA
20
Rathbun to I lornblower, 18 Aug. 1902, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA.
21
S04/1049 and S04/I032, dated 17 Jan. 1903, by Hornblower & Marshall, SIA
22
Peterson, Hornblower and Marshall, 12.
Peterson
12
Hornblower and Marshall
23
Green to Langley, 23 Jan. 1904
Melville W. Fuller, J. B. Henderson, and Langley, 27 Jan. 1904
24
Horn- blower & Marshall to Rathbun, 11 Apr. 1904, R.U. 79, SIA
25
Green to Langley, 23 Jan. 1904.
Green to Rath- bun, R.U. 79, SIA
26
William Henry Holmes, "Report of Studies of European Museums Made during the Summer of 1904," R.U. 55, box 15, 1
Holmes
1
Report of Studies of European Museums Made during the Summer of 1904
1904
27
Ibid., 10.
28
John Bakewell and Arthur Brown, "Memorandum Concerning Train- ing and Work of Bakewell & Brown," 17 Mar. 1910, Arthur Brown Jr. Col- lection, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
Bakewell
Memorandum Concerning Training and Work of Bakewell & Brown
1910
Peterson, Hornblower and Marshall, 22
Peterson
22
Hornblower and Marshall
29
Arthur Brown to Arthur Brown, Jr., 24 Apr. 1904, and 10 May 1904
Arthur Brown, Jr., to Victoria Runyon Brown, 7 Feb. 1904, 14 Feb. 1904, 24 Apr. 1904, and 1 1 May 1904
30
Arthur Brown, Jr., to Victoria Runyon Brown, 2 Dec. 1903
I lornblower & Marshall with McKim s rec- ommendation. Brown to Brown, Jr., 10 May 1904
31
Moore, Burnham, vol. 1, 231-32
Moore
231
1
Burnham
n. 7
32
Ernest Flagg, "The Influence of the French School on Architecture of the United States," Architectural Record 4 (July 1894-July 1895), 218, 222.
Flagg
July
218
4
Architectural Record
1894
33
Montgomery Schuyler, "The Art of City Making," Architectural Record 12 (May 1902), 22.
Schuyler
May
22
12
Architectural Record
1902
34
Champney describes his hiring in October 1904 in letters to Brown, 1 Oct. and 14 Oct. 1904
Elizabeth W Champney, wrote col- lections of short stories centered on exotic destinations, such as Romance of Russia and Romance of the French Abbeys
Henry F. and Elise Rath- bun Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angles, 1956), 116
Henry
116
Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased)
1956
35
S0/I087, Drawing Collection, SIA.
36
Rathbun to Green, 17 July 1905, R.U. 79, box 1, SIA.
37
Green to Hornblower & Marshall, 17 July 1905, R.U. 79, box 2, Gen- eral Plans folder, SIA.
39
McKim to Frank Miles Day, president, AIA, 2 Apr. 1906, box 6, bk. 15, no. 60, CFMP
40
McKim to Green, 9 Aug. 1905, vol. 16, box 6, no. 355A and B, CFMP.
41
Burnham to Green, 10 Aug. 1905, microfilm reel 7, vol. 15
42
McKim to Burnham, 15 Aug. 1905, microfilm reel 7, vol. 15
43
McKim to Green, 9 Aug. 1905.
44
McKim to Augustus St. Gaudens, 1 1 Aug. 1905, marked Confidential
45
Moore, Burnham, 255
Moore
255
Burnham
n. 7
Mead to Burnham, 5 Sept. 1905
46
Moore, Burnham, 258.
Moore
258
Burnham
47
I lornblower & Marshall to Langley, 17 Sept. 1905, R.U. 79, box 2, SIA.
48
Green and Langley cited in n. 49
49
Green to Langley, 9 Oct. 1905, in General Plans folder, R.U. 79, box 5, SIA.
50
Langley to Green, 1 1 Oct. 1905, R.U. 95, box 5, General Plans folder, SIA.
51
Rathbun or Langley to Green, draft letter, 1 1 Oct. 1905, R.I'. 79, box 2, SIA.
52
William R. Mead to Green, 5 Sept. 1905, vol. 16, box 6, no. 358, CFMP.
53
Green to Langley, memorandum, 17 July 1905, R.U. 79, box 2, SIA.
54
Green to Langley, 9 Oct. 1905.
55
Green to Olmsted, 3 Nov. 1905
56
Hornblower & Marshall to Green, 14 Nov. 1905, R.U. 81, box 5, SIA.
Hornblower & Marshall record that they were informed of the new direc- tion by letter, 12 Oct. 1905, now in R.U. 81d, box 1, bk. 3, 67-69, SIA.
59
Green to McKim, 20 Nov. 1905, box 1
60
Mead to Burnham, 29 Nov. 1905
Richard Guy Wilson, McKim, Mead & White Architects (New York, 1983), 15
Wilson
15
McKim, Mead & White Architects
1983
61
Mead to Burnham, 29 Nov. 1905
Burnham to Green, 18 Dec. 1905
62
Burnham to McKim, 30 Aug. 1901, 2
Burnham wrote to McKim, " The court is a shrine, to which one should climb constantly going up. Such slight demarcations as these steps would be, might have an effect on the mind of one approaching the central feature as well as on his eye. Le Notre must have felt this way when he built the three steps stretching across the gardens of Luxembourg, as one mounts toward the entrance of the beautiful and mysterious Grand Avenue."
63
Richard Rathbun, "Report on the Condition and Progress of the U.S. National Museum during the Year Ending June <latex>$30^{th}$</latex>, 1906," Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution . . . Report of the U. S. National Museum (Washington, D.C., 1906), 7.
Rathbun
Report on the Condition and Progress of the U.S. National Museum during the Year Ending June <latex>$30^{th}$</latex>, 1906
7
Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution . . . Report of the U. S. National Museum
1906
64
Green to Mead, copy of written telegram order, 2 Mar. 1906, R.U. 81, box 1, bk. 3, 217, SIA.
218
65
Peterson, Hornblower and Marshall, 11, 21-22
Peterson
11
Hornblower and Marshall
n. 10
67
Hornblower & Marshall to Rathbun as Acting Secretary, 17 Apr. 1906, R.U. 79, box 2, SIA.
68
Green to Members of the Consultative Board on Public Buildings, 14 Nov. 1905.
70
Leland Roth, McKim, Mead & White: Architects (New York, 1983), 193.
Roth
193
McKim, Mead & White: Architects
1983
71
Ibid., 397 n. 43.
72
Charles Collens, "The Beaux-Arts in 1900," Journal of the AIA 1, no. 2 (Feb. 1947), 80-86
Collens
2
80
Journal of the AIA 1
1947
no. 3 (Mar. 1947), 144-51
no. 4 (Apr. 1947), 187-96
73
Charles Moore, The Life and Times of Charles Folien McKim (Boston, 1929), 192.
Moore
192
The Life and Times of Charles Folien McKim
1929
74
Board of Architectural Consultants, minutes, 24 May 1927, Project Files, RG 121, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
75
Sally Kress Thompkins, A Quest for Grandeur: Charles Moore and the Federal Triangle (Washington, D.C., 1993)
Thompkins
A Quest for Grandeur: Charles Moore and the Federal Triangle
1993
76
Stephen McLeod Bedford, John Russell Pope, Architect of Empire (New York, 1998), 186-200.
Bedford
186
John Russell Pope, Architect of Empire
1998
77
Charles Moore, "Memoires," ch. 11, 1
Moore
ch. 11
1
Memoires
78
Ibid., 2.
79
Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., "Landscape in Connection with Public Buildings in Washington," in Glenn Brown, ed., Papers Relating to the Improvement of the City of Washington, District of Colum- bia (Washington, D.C., 1901), 34
Olmsted
Landscape in Connection with Public Buildings in Washington
34
Papers Relating to the Improvement of the City of Washington, District of Columbia
1901
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