Other Tours / Museums / Libraries, Washington D.C.
Located directly across the street from the statue of Baron von Stueben in Lafayette Square is what looks like a very ordinary brick home . Actually, it is anything but ordinary. Originally it was built for naval hero Steven Decatur and is one of three remaining designed by Benjamin Latrobe.
Today it houses the Center for White House History and there is a small museum in there that is open to the public. I didn't go in since they were preparing for some big function but i suspect i might sooner or later pay a visit.
After Decatur, the house was occupied by Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren. It served as the de facto residence of the Secretary of State.
Location- 748 Jackson Place, N.W., on President's Park North (Lafayette Park)
After a nice visit at the Library of Congress, I was wandering back to my itty, bitty apartment and I passed the Shakespeare Theater and Library for the umpteenth time (What does umpteenth mean? Is there such a thing as uptwentieth, umpthirtieth, umphundredth, or umpthousandth? And who is this baseball umpire that takes it so much? OK, this is all irrelevant to the subject at hand. The discussion about different degrees of "ump" will have to wait until another time.).
The Shakespeare Theater, Library, Museum, and Gift Shop sits right behind the Library of Congress. They have two primary public entrances; one is at the gift shop and the other is just down the street at the theater. Both offer access to the museum and the library. Visitors are instructed to enter near the theater at the end of the building away from the Library of Congress. From here, the theater is straight ahead, the museum and gift shop are t the right, and the restrooms and a small lobby are down stairs. All are accessible for free. The theater is a unique, tiny, dark wood venue with only 2 or 300 seats. The museum has about 15 or 20 displays of various writings about Shakespeare. I did not enter the gift shop just out of principle. Outside is what they call the Elizabethan Gardens which have little to do about (nothing) Queen Elizabeth I other than the sculptures about Shakespeare.
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
The National Firearms Museum traces the heritage of gun ownership and use in America from the first explorers to modern times. Thirteen galleries explore such time periods as the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI, and WWII, as well as the years between our nation's major conflicts. The museum contains guns own by Theodore Roosevelt, Annie Oakley, General George Gordon Meade, George Bush, Grover Cleveland, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Prince Charles and Napoleon Bonaparte. The museum goes beyond just guns used in wars, to include those sued for hunting, law enforcement, self defense and recreation. There are also various exhibits on temporary loan from other museums. Overall, the museum displays about 2,000 guns covering 600 years of US history. The museum also has a library for research purposes.
The museum is located at the National Rifle Association HQ at 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA, which is on I-66 just west of the city. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, and admission is free!
The Old Stone House Museum is a small mesuem in Georgetown, actually it's the one of the oldest known structures remaining in Washington, it's a simple 18th century dwelling built and inhabited by common people. It has a beautiful garden in the backyard and beside its architecture it contains some stuffs and materials used by people in the 60'-70' of the 18 century.
Old Stone House is located at 3051 M Street, NW, in Georgetown, Washington, DC. Nearest Metro stop is at Foggy Bottom-GWU.
You have to go across the street from the War Veteran's Memorials to visit the National Academy of Sciences or see Albert Einstein sitting on the south lawn. In its left hand, the figure holds a paper with mathematical equations summarizing three of Einstein's most important scientific contributions.
I had to go there to see Albert. He's an honored symbol of the department I work in at M.I.T. And I just plain "like him"!
the Folger is home to the World's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works. there are other rare Renaissance books as well. The privately endowed library is administered by the trustees of Amherst College.
It is also a museum devoted to Shakespeare's life and times. You can take a guided tour of the building and view frequently changing exhibitions.
The theater has a full calendar of performances and programs.
The Folger is located on Capitol Hill at 201 East Capitol Street SE. It is open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday.
“From what I can hear Patty and Mr. Peter are to make a match.”
— from a letter Martha Washington wrote from Philadelphia to Fanny Bassett Washington, wife of the general’s nephew
MATCH GAME The Peters’ descendants, who lived at Tudor Place for almost 185 years, were riding in style in this 1919 Pierce-Arrow Roadster, complete with a rumble seat! It is the only gasoline-fueled artifact at Tudor Place. This maroon anomaly, part of a collection that includes George Washington’s camp stool and Martha Washington’s tea table, was custom-built for Armistead Peter III, Tudor Place’s last Peter family owner. Only exterior photos are permitted at Tudor Place. This was the case at most of the house museums we visited in D.C. and VA on our All-American Vacation.
Like many house museums in the United States, Tudor Places does not allow photos of its interior. That is why we have many of its exterior and gardens. The garden at Tudor Place is made up of several sections.
From one end of the Bowling Green a view of the garden is framed by sculptures of reclining whippets (see photo #4). Tudor Place’s last Peter family owner, Armistead Peter 3 rd, enjoyed this area of the garden more than any other.
In 1885 the tennis court of the Tudor Place Lawn Tennis Club occupied the Tennis Lawn (see photo #5). President Grover Cleveland was known to watch the games. In the early-20th century the tennis court was removed and replaced with the lawn, screened by white pine, American holly, and magnolias.
The boxwood in the Flower Knot (see photo #1) was planted by Martha Custis Peter, as she planted much of the boxwood on the property. The Peter family reconstructed the Flower Knot in 1926 in a new location. Today heirloom roses, including moss, hybrid tea and old musk, and Rosa Gruss an Auchan are among the flowers in the Flower Knot. At the center of this flower collection stands the sundial from Scotland’s Crossbasket Castle, the Peter family ancestral home.
“I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.”
— George Washington (1732-1799)
In 1805, with an $8,000 legacy left to her by her step-grandfather, George Washington, Martha Custis Peter along with her husband Thomas Peter, a landowner and tobacco merchant, bought 8.5 acres on the outskirts of Georgetown, a separate town at the time.
Today, 5.5 acres remain of that land; the garden retains much of its original Federal-period design. In the early 19th century use of the land included orchards, vegetable gardens, room for a stable, and to graze cows and horses.
Six successive generations of the Peter family cared for this land. The last member of the Peter family to own Tudor Place, Armistead Peter 3rd, carried out major projects during the mid-20th century that created the landscape that visitors can enjoy today.
“I could never believe the wish nearest a young lady’s heart on the eve of her marriage, was to possess an Old Man’s Picture.”
— George Washington (1732-1799)
VALUED POSSESSIONS This was Washington’s reaction when his step-granddaughter, Martha Custis, soon to be Mrs. Thomas Peter, asked for a miniature portrait of him as a wedding gift. Washington complied; this miniature, painted by Walter Robertson, is still part of the Tudor Place collection.
After Martha Washington’s death in 1802, Thomas Peter, an executor of her estate, purchased, at a private sale, many objects from Mount Vernon. Many are still at Tudor Place. Some were chosen for their decorative beauty, but others were functional, household objects. For Martha Peter, these were reminders of her grandmother and Mount Vernon.
The Peters hired Dr. William Thornton, architect of the U.S. Capitol, to design the neoclassical house and gardens. The land, comprising a city lot in Georgetown, was purchased in 1805 with an $8,000 legacy to Martha Custis Peter from her step-grandfather. Completed in 1816, Tudor Place was lived in by Peter family members until 1983.
Because of the Peter family’s close relation to the nation’s first president, they were members of D.C. high society. In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette, General Washington’s friend and ally, visited Tudor Place.
This lovely statue is in front of the archives building and it graces one side. There is another on the other side of the entrance, but I didn't get a chance to photograph it.
Inscription: THE HERITAGE OF THE PAST IS THE SEED THAT BRINGS FORTH THE HARVEST OF THE FUTURE.
It is made of limestone granite and sculpted by James Earle Fraser
Located on Constitution Ave between 7th & 9th Sts NW
Nearest Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Yellow – Green)
National Archives: Though I feel like this should be included under things to do, I know only one or two people who have ever visited the National Archives. In the lobby you can view the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. There is also a copy of Britain's 1297 Magna Carta, the Louisiana Purchase agreement, and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The National Archives Building is located between Seventh and Ninth Streets, NW, with entrances on Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues. Admission is Free.
The National Archives Building is the headquarters of the National Archives and Records Administration and this building opened in 1935. NARA's second headquarters location is in Prince George's County, Maryland, near the University of Maryland in College Park. NARA has fourteen other regional facilities and ten Affiliated Archives across the US, as well as the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Finally, NARA maintains twelve of the Presidential Libraries for each president from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton.
It's quite a pity that such a beautiful building is overlooked so often (or maybe it's quite a blessing that it's been spared the tourista-crowds that mob the mall whenever it's somewhat pleasant out...) The Nation Building Museum's cavernous atrium features the largest Corinthian Columns in the world, and the 3-4 exhibits that it features are usually spectacular, if you're into architecture. Additionally, the NBM's museum shop is considered to be the best museum shop in DC. (National Archives, eat your heart out!)
Megan (being the political and historical nerd that she is) bought a "passport" to the monuments. It lists locations all over the US, and when you visit them you can stamp your passport. It's a good way to see what's out there to visit, and to keep a record of where you've been!
The "old" Air & Space Museum on the Mall is basically "full to the brim" with wonderful exhibits, but no room for expansion. So, the new Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum has been built out in the countryside near Dulles International Airport. It is absolutely outstanding and should not be missed. They have eating facilties and a nice gift shop there as well.
The Udvar-Hazy Center was opened on December 15, 2003 in Chantilly, Virginia. It will ultimately house some 400 aircraft and space artifacts - nearly 80% of the national collection.