Smithsonian Castle

Notable Building

in National Mall

James Renwick designed this turreted, red-sandstone fairy-tale in 1855. Today the castle houses the Smithsonian Visitor Center, which makes a good first stop on the Mall. Inside you’ll find history exhibits, multilingual touch-screen displays, a staffed information desk, free maps, a cafe and the tomb of James Smithson, the institution’s founder. His crypt lies inside a little room by the main entrance off the Mall.