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 the 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.
In April 2021, the nation of Qatar purchased the building. The Carnegie Institution for Science is now headquarted at the Carnegie campus on Broad Branch Road NW.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: October 15, 1966
National Historic Landmark: June 23, 1965
Within Sixteenth Street Historic District