Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/106

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PSM V80 D106 Street view of the national museum.png

The National Museum from the Street.

in the city should be devoted to a library and to a museum. The general aspect of the museum and the ground plan are shown in the accompanying illustrations. The new building is placed on the Mall, the development of which still remains in large measure for the future, in front of the Smithsonian building, which it faces. It is a massive structure, four stories in height, with a frontage of 561 feet, a depth of 365 feet and a dome rising 162 feet above the ground level. The exterior of the building is not greatly ornamented, but its massive white granite and the lines and proportions give a pleasing effect.

The lower floor, called the basement, although it is raised several feet above the adjoining street, contains laboratories, workshops, storerooms and offices, used largely for the research work of the scientific staff. It also unfortunately contains a heating plant and ventilating system which pumps dust into the collections. The main floor presents a continuous floor space, the middle part of each wing being carried up to the second story. Three exceptionally large halls are thus formed, well adapted to the exhibition of the collections. The second story has less floor space, but ample galleries; the third story is reserved for laboratories and the storage of the collections intended for scientific research.


Sir Joseph Hooker is now dead at the age of ninety-five years. Only Wallace, aged ninety years, and Lister, aged eighty-five years, remain of the company of great men who were the contemporaries of Darwin. Since the birth of Roger Bacon, eight centuries ago, to the Victorian era, England has produced a succession of leading scientific men. We may hope that the hereditary genius of the race is not exhausted and that some part of it has been bequeathed to us in this country. Indeed Hooker himself is evidence of the persistence of genius, for his father was a botanist of equal eminence.

William Jackson Hooker, born in 1785, had independent means, which in