The Natural History Building, as the National Museum of Natural History was originally known, opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1910, in order to provide the Smithsonian Institution with more space for collections and research. The building was not fully completed until June 1911.
The Neoclassical-style building, which cost $3.5 million dollars to complete, was the first structure constructed on the north side of the National Mall as part of the 1901 McMillan Commission plan. In addition to the Smithsonian's natural history collection, it also housed the American history, art, and cultural collections.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)