The Smithsonian American Art Museum, along with the National Portrait Gallery, occupies the historic Patent Office Building. One of the finest neoclassical structures in the world, its Greek Revival design dates from 1836. During the Civil War, it served initially as temporary barracks, hospital and morgue, and, in 1865, as the site of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural ball. In 1958, the Smithsonian acquired the building, saving it from demolition. This richly illustrated volume traces the history of this landmark building, documenting its varied functions and evolving architecture with rarely seen photographs and architectural plans. The book is essential for all visitors to the Smithsonian and all those interested in the architectural history of the United States.