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Steel Structure Trivia: Smithsonian Revitalization
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 25, 2013 at 5:38 PM.


Here’s MSC’s January Steel Structure Trivia question! The Smithsonian Arts and Industries museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is undergoing renovations to the building envelope, including the structural steel framing, roof, windows and masonry facade. Pictured above is a shot of the new steel construction of the roof juxtaposed with the existing steel. Superior Iron Works, Sterling, Va., (an AISC member, AISC certified fabricator and advanced certified erector) is fabricating and erecting the steel for the project. The building will reopen in 2014. Your challenge is to name the year the Smithsonian Arts and Industries museum originally opened. Photo: Jacinda Collins, AISC


The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Museum originally opened in 1881, in time for the inaugural ball of President James A. Garfield. Congratulations to our winner, Robert Smith, P.E., a civil engineer with ATK - ABL Operations in Rocket Center, W.Va.


The Arts and Industries Building is the second-oldest of the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Initially named the National Museum, it was built to provide the Smithsonian with its first proper facility for public display of its growing collections. It was dedicated a National Historic Landmark in 1971.


In 2006, the building was named as one of America’s Most Endangered Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the building was closed due to its deteriorating condition. It received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and has been undergoing structural renovation since 2011.


The building is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2014 to host programs and exhibitions related to innovation.


The Smithsonian Arts and Industries project, along with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, recently won a 2013 Craftsmanship Award in the Metals category from the Washington Building Congress.


For more information and to take an online tour of the building’s history, visit


You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post, based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted on Friday, February 22, at 10 a.m. (CST).


backscratcher-007_sitn.jpgThe first three people who supply the correct answer will receive an MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.








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