Designed by architect Bertram G. Goodhue and built in 1924, the National Academy of Sciences building is an original interpretation of the neoclassical style. The organization was incorporated by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1963 to advise the government on scientific matters, but did not have its own permanent headquarters until this building designed by Goodhue was erected. After its founding, the Academy was housed in the Smithsonian. During World War I, the National Research Council was established as an entity of the Academy with the purpose of advising on the practical application of scientific discoveries. After the war, President Wilson, by an Executive Order signed in May 1918, made the Council permanent and in so doing increased the need for a permanent headquarters for the Academy and Council.
In 1919, the Carnegie Corporation of New York resolved that if the Academy could purchase a building site through other means, the Corporation would finance construction of the building and endow the Academy and Council. The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts informally suggested Goodhue as the architect of the building. The Academy's building committee chairman, George Ellery Hale was a notable solar physicist and an admirer of Goodhue. Hale played an important role in the planning of the building.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: March 15, 1974