National Academy of Sciences | District of Columbia
The home of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and dedicated by Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The Great Hall is vaulted with a large dome, the work of the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company. This building was the first collaboration of Rafael Guastavino, Jr. and the mosaic artist Hildreth Meiere; the result is stunning. In 2011 there was an extensive restoration effort. The tiles were first vacuumed and then dry cleaned by hand with vulcanized rubber sponges. The gilded areas were washed in a three part process with a special conservation soap mixture applied with sterile cotton, rinsing with sterile cotton saturated water, and finally drying with sterile cotton. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.