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The Smithsonian Castle exterior
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A seated dinner in the Castle Commons
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The Commons Medieval architecture provides a dramatic backdrop for events
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A reception in the Commons
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Schermer Hall’s rotating exhibitions create a nice atmosphere for receptions
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Schermer Hall set for an intimate dinner
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The Great Hall is the Smithsonian’s main information center
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Close-up of the Great Hall used for a reception
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The Castle’s Haupt Garden used for an evening reception
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The Smithsonian Castle is centrally located on the National Mall

Smithsonian Castle

1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC Get Directions


Situated prominently on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Castle’s unique silhouette guides thousands of visitors each year to this prestigious Washington landmark. Its rich history and stately grandeur make the castle a stunning backdrop for special occasions. This elegant space reflects the ornate nobility of its original 19th-century design and is an ideal setting for breakfasts, luncheons, receptions, and dinners. Guests delight in the intriguing exhibits, which showcase collections from the many Smithsonian museums. Nationally recognized as a definitive event destination, the Smithsonian Castle also features a captivating garden that can be used for refined outdoor entertaining.
Welcome your guests to the Smithsonian Castle, the Smithsonian’s first building. The rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful gardens of this prestigious Washington landmark provide an extraordinary setting for elegant daytime and breathtaking evening events.
Memorable Moments
Designed by architect James Renwick, the castle originally housed the Smithsonian’s entire collection of natural and historic treasures, including the zoological park.


Space Max. Reception Capacity Max. Seated Capacity Sq. feet Floor Plan
Great Hall 400 200 6,250
Schermer Hall 75 40 2,160
The Commons 160 120 2,445
Enid A. Haupt Garden – North Plaza only 200 300 2,617
Enid A Haupt Garden – entire garden 400 375 4,011
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