Smithsonian Seeks New Use for 1881 Arts and Industries Building

Posted on: November 26th, 2007 by Margaret Foster

Kim O’Connell photoThe Smithsonian Institution is working to find a new use for its shuttered Arts and Industries Building, built in 1881 and empty since 2004, when an engineering firm's report deemed it a safety hazard.

Earlier this month, the Smithsonian issued a request for qualifications for public or private companies to redevelop the National Historic Landmark, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In June 2006, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the High Victorian building designed by Adolph Cluss one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

"The current estimate to provide a 'conditioned shell' is approximately $65 million," according to the Smithsonian in a Nov 1. statement. Congress "suggested the Smithsonian take a creative approach to financing this renovation rather than relying on federal funds," it said.

The RFQ is online at http://www.si.edu/ai/. Responses are due Jan. 7.

Read more about the Arts and Industries Building at http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/archives/arch_story/033106.htm and http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/archives/arc_mag/nd06feature1.htm

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