Carnegie Institution of Washington, Administration Building

Built in 1910, the Carnegie Institute of Washington Administration Building is a key site in scientific philanthropy.

Founded in 1902 with the belief that basic scientific research is essential to human well-being, the Carnegie Institution of Washington is an early example of American philanthropy. Donating major funds, industrialist turned philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) is the organization’s namesake. Carnegie endowed the foundation with $10 million for scientific investigation, which few philanthropists previously invested in. Carnegie took the most pride for the Mount Wilson Observatory; however, the institution also had numerous natural science departments from biology to geophysics, as well as a Department of Historical Research. Today, the Institution focuses on science, evidenced by its newer name, Carnegie Institution for Science.

Designed by New York architecture firm Carrère & Hastings, the Carnegie Institute of Washington Administration Building was built in 1910 in the Beaux Arts style. The structure is built out of Indiana limestone with a monumental portico and Ionic columns. The building was partially remodeled and expanded under the direction of William Adams Delano in 1937. The building is still in use today.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: October 15, 1966
National Historic Landmark: June 23, 1965



1530 P Street NW