“Cluss and Schulze’s new Model Hall introduced a new structural system designed to improve the fireproofing of the building. Finishing materials such as the encaustic tile floors and the wrought iron railings were not only fire resistant but added both decorative complexity and color. Cluss made no attempt to alter the familiar Greek Revival appearance of the building from the exterior but made dramatic changes to the interior. Now that the building has reopened, the halls Cluss decorated with colorful floors of encaustic tiles and marbles once again appear in pristine condition. Visitors are also able to see the beautiful stained glass Cluss added to the building as part of the magnificent entrance hall and Model Hall galleries. A small exhibition about the building itself, including sections about Cluss and Schulze’s work, is on view in a special gallery. The Smithsonian has also announced its intention to replace the grand exterior staircase on the south side of the building, designed by Cluss in 1872-73 and demolished in 1935-36.”

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