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National Building Museum Facts

  

The
The historic Pension Building under construction between 1882 and 1887.
Collection of the National Building Museum

 

 

The
An exterior frieze measuring 1,200 feet long and 3 feet high wraps the building. The frieze depicts a parade of Civil War military units and was designed by Bohemian-born sculptor Caspar Buberl (1834-1889).

 

 

234
234 busts representing the building occupations— created to replace the missing originals—fill the niches about the center court.

 

 

President
President McKinley's Inaugural Ball, 1901.

 

Architect / Engineer

Montgomery C. Meigs (1816-1892), Quartermaster General in charge of provisions during the Civil War

Construction Dates

1882-1887

Original Cost

$886,614.04

Exterior Dimensions

400 feet by 200 feet, 75 feet to cornice level

Materials

15,500,000 bricks with brick and terra cotta ornament

Exterior Frieze

1,200 feet long, 3 feet high, made of terra cotta. Features a continuous parade of Civil War military units designed by Caspar Buberl (1834-1899)

Great Hall

316 feet by 116 feet, 159 feet (approximately 15 stories) at its highest point.

Corinthian Columns

75 feet high, 8 feet in diameter, 25 feet in circumference. Each built with 70,000 bricks and originally painted to resemble marble in 1895 

Busts

234 busts designed by Gretta Bader in 1984.

Arcade

72 Doric-style columns on the ground floor and 72 Ionic-style columns on the second floor.

Inaugural Balls

First Inaugural Ball at the National Building Museum was held by Grover Cleveland in 1885, the tradition continues to the present day.