Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle).
The Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the Castle, houses the Smithsonian’s administrative offices and the Smithsonian Information Center. This Victorian style, red sandstone building was built in 1855 and was originally the home of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, and his family. The building is the oldest one on the National Mall and it served as the first Smithsonian exhibit hall from 1858 until the 1960s.
This Washington, DC landmark is centrally located on the National Mall and serves as good place to start a tour of the Smithsonian museums. You can view a 24-minute video on the Smithsonian and learn about other Washington, DC attractions as well. The main information area has two large models of the Mall and two electronic maps of Washington, DC. Volunteer Information Specialists are available to provide free guides and maps and help you plan your sightseeing itinerary. http://www.si.edu/