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Just across from the Treasury Department is a beautiful red brick and sandstone building in the Queen Anne school of design. Built is 1888, this five-story structure has been expanded three times (1916, 1925 and 1985). Tenanted by National Savings for 108 years, the building now houses a SunTrust bank branch and offices.
- Historical Travel
The Octagon Museum
The Octagon is the oldest museum in the United States dedicated to architecture. Constructed between 1799 and 1801, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and opened to the public as a museum in 1970. Situated on a triangular lot, no one is sure how the six-sided structure came to be called The Octagon.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
The Decatur House, named for it's original resident, naval hero Stephen Decatur, is one of the oldest surviving homes in DC and one of only three surviving residential buildings built by Benjamin Latrobe, the father of American Architecture. It's proximity to the White House made this a very desirable address, it was the first and last private residence on Lafayette Square.
After Decatur was killed in a duel, his widow was forced to rent the house, among it's famous tenants were Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren.
The house is currently undergoing work to restore to it's original condition but you can join one of the guided tours and learn a bit about the famous residents. Entrance to Decatur House is free although they will gladly accept donations. Be sure to look for the parquet floor with the seal of California that was added by the Beale family, the final residents.
I asked our guide about the bricked in windows on the front of the house thinking that perhaps they also had a window tax like in London but she said that they were bricked in to cover chimney flues and that Latrobe had wanted the house to be symmetrical, not with protruding chimneys. She also added that in those days there was a tax on the number of rooms and even small closets were taxed which may explain the lack of closets in older homes (including mine!!!).
Closest metro: Farragut North
Located at 748 Jackson Place NW, just north of the White House on Lafayette Square
Sam Rayburn Building
If you want to visit your representative, his (or her) office might be in the Rayburn building (a site map is at the URL given below). According to their website:
"The Rayburn building is a modified H plan with four stories above ground, two basements, and three levels of underground garage space. A white marble facade above a pink granite base covers a concrete and steel frame. One hundred sixty-nine Representatives were accommodated in three-room suites, with modern-for-the-time features such as toilets, kitchens, and built-in file cabinets; nine committees were also moved to this building. Amenities include a cafeteria, first aid room, Library of Congress book station, telephone and telegraph room, recording studio, post office, gymnasium, and facilities for press and television. A subway tunnel with two cars connects the building to the Capitol, and pedestrian tunnels join it to the Longworth Building."
Location: Southwest of the Capitol on a site bounded by Independence Avenue, South Capitol Street, First Street, and C Street, S.W.
Date Occupied: February 1965
- Road Trip
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
I had to take a picture of this particular government building for the Environmental Protection Agency, my father and husband both worked for the EPA Region 5 in Chicago. The federal government agency buildings in Chicago aren't nearly as grand as the ones in Washington DC, in fact I think the black boxy steel and glass buildings in Chicago are some of the ugliest in the city.
You can see most of the EPA flag with the agency seal on the right side of the photo.
The Hay-Adams Hotel, located just north of Lafayette Square and the White House, takes it's name from John Hay (Sec. of State) and Henry Adams (author and descendant of Pres. John Adams and Pres. John Quincy Adams), both of whom had homes on this site. Those houses were razed in 1927 and the Hay-Adams Hotel was built and opened in 1928.
Many famous guests have stayed here- Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Sinclair Lewis and Ethel Barrymore. And the ghost of Henry Adams' wife is said to still be hanging out on the 4th floor.
Supreme Court of the United States
Nice court to visit for those interested in Law.
Lecture in court C every hour on the half hour 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. when court is not in session.
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m
Metro: Capitol South, Union Station
More powerful than the white houes?
This is Federal Reserve. I call it Greenspan House. Some say it's more powerful than the White House because when Greenspan speaks the whole world listens when Greenspan acts the whole world shakes. He recently raised interest rate by 1 basis point.
Iron cables at the tower
The view from the top of the old Post Office Tower is great, but you may notice the iron cables surrounding the tower, as shown in photo. It made photography a little tricky. I asked the ranger why the iron cables, and he said something I forget. I think it's to prevent objects or people from falling off the tower, while allowing the sound of the bell go out.
From the photo you can see Washington Monument at 555-foot high. The old Post Office, at 329-foot high, is the second tallest building in the mall area.
- Historical Travel
Old Post Office
There is no charge to go to the top of the tower which gives you a nive view over the city. It safes you the entry money for the Washington Monument and here you can take pictures with the Washington momument on :-) It is on Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th.
- Budget Travel
the Money Tour!
It's very fun to stop in at the US Reserve to see how money is made. Just don't touch the ceiling or try to take photos... they don't like that too much. It is really interesting. At the end of the tour, you can buy the goofy souvenier of an uncut sheet of sixteen $1 for $25. What a deal!
- Women's Travel
- Historical Travel
Located at 748 Jackson Place, NW with the entrance at 1600 8th Street NW, Decatur House is one of the oldest surviving homes in DC. It is one of only three residential buildings extent designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe who was the father of American architecture.
It was built in 1818 for the naval hero, Steven Decatur.
there are guided tours on the hour and half hour.
Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon
Located north of the Capitol on Constitution Avenue, between New Jersey Avenue and First Street NW, the Memorial consists of a marble tower and a ten foot tall bronze statue of Senator Taft.
The carillon consists of 27 bells in the upper part of the tower. They automatically strike the hour and quarter hour and can be operated manually as well.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The J. Edgar Hoover Building is located on E Street between 9th and 10th Streets NW.
There are exhibits which explain the history of the FBI.
There are terrific tours lasting one hour beginning at the E Street entrance weekdays from 8:45 am to 4:15 pm. The tours include a firearm demonstration.
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Washington D.C. Travel Guide
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