The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

The historic Old Patent Office Building in Washington, D.C. covers an entire city block defined by F and G Streets and 7th and 9th Streets NW in Chinatown.

It served as one of the earliest United States Patent Office buildings.After undergoing extensive renovations, the building reopened on July 1, 2006 and was renamed The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in honor of a gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The building houses two Smithsonian Institution museums: the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.HistoryDesigned in the Greek Revival style by architect Robert Mills, construction started in 1836, and the massive structure took 31 years to complete. United States patent law required inventors to submit scale models of their inventions, which were retained by the Patent Office and required housing. Once home to many early government department, including the first exhibits of the Smithsonian, today the structure houses two museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.

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