Ford's Theatre - Petersen House, Washington D.C.

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 34 Reviews

511 10th St. NW (202) 347-4833

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Ford's Theatre - Petersen House
    by smschley
  • Reading over Lincoln
    Reading over Lincoln
    by TravellerMel
  • The Room where Pres. Lincoln Died
    The Room where Pres. Lincoln Died
    by TravellerMel
  • Petersen House

    by grkboiler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bed where Lincoln died

    Abraham Lincoln died at the Petersen House at 7:22 AM on April 15, 1865, across the street from Ford's Theatre where he had been shot in the head the night before. The house contains the bed where Lincoln died, complete with the pillow he used, and the furniture in the house at the time. Another room is the room where Mary Lincoln waited with friends and family.

    Hours are 9 AM - 5 PM daily except December 25. Admission is free. Tours are self-guided.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theatre - FREE (ticket required)

    by TravellerMel Updated Sep 2, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shingle
    4 more images

    During my two previous visits to DC, I was unsuccessful in my attempts to visit Ford's Theatre as it was under renovation both times. Third time was the charm however, and I booked my advance tour reservation online. (NOTE: Timed admission to this National Park is FREE; however, if you choose to reserve your time in advance - as opposed to day-of at the box office, which may book up - there is a small convenience fee from Ticketmaster).

    You enter to the basement level, where there is a great museum depicting the life, family, presidency, death, and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Artifacts include the coat Lincoln was wearing the night he was shot, the derringer which killed him, various family photos, exhibits from the trial of the conspirators, and the boot which Dr. Mudd cut off of John Wilkes Booth in order to set his leg.

    After approx 30 minutes in the museum, you are lead back upstairs to the theatre itself - and to the festooned Presidential Box. I got goosebumps just looking at it and knowing the horror that happened there one night almost 150 years ago. The Ranger gave a wonderful program describing the event - including quoting from the play which was being performed that night.

    Such a historic place - I am glad I finally got to see it. Your free admission ticket also includes admission to the Petersen House, directly across the street.

    NPS Passport stamping station in the bookstore in the museum downstairs and in the small bookstore behind the box office.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Petersen House - The House Where Lincoln Died

    by TravellerMel Written Aug 25, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Petersen House Signage (with Ranger)
    4 more images

    The townhouse directly across the street from Ford’s Theatre, where, after being shot by John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln was carried and tended to in a back bedroom until his death hours later.

    The U.S. National Park Service has maintained the house as an historic house museum, recreating the scene at the time of Lincoln's death. There are costumed docents or Park Rangers present to answer any questions. Each of the three rooms has a sign describing the events which occurred in that room during that fateful night.

    Open daily (except Christmas Day) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Admission is free, but you still need a ticket to get in. The ticket you get at Ford's Theatre is the same one you use to visit the Peterson House. It is NOT handicapped accessible - there are several steps to enter/exit the house.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    See What You Learned About in American History

    by TexasDave Updated Jul 30, 2010
    The President's Box

    Most Americans at least know from elementary school that Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater but it is impressive to see it in person. It is free and only takes a few minutes to walk in. It's open during regular business hours unless the stage is being prepared for a function or a rehearsal is going on (it is still used as a working theater). You must get timed tickets to enter the theater. They are free but must be obtained beforehand. The office opens at 8:30 each day. Also, downstairs there are a number of exhibits on the life of Abraham Lincoln- even the suit he wore that last evening is on display.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theater Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • besbel's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theater

    by besbel Updated Jul 27, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ford's Theater

    Ford's Theater is the place where Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1869. After some renovations, it reopened in winter 2009.
    After Lincoln's assassination, the theater stopped functioning as such until 1968, in which the place is reopened as theater and historical site. In that regard, there is also a museum in the theater, with interesting pieces like the gun used to shoot Lincoln, Booth's diary, knife and boot, etc.
    If going to Ford's Theater, don't miss the Petersen House, right in front of it. This is the house where Lincoln was transported after being shot and in which he finally expired. Entrance is free, you only need patience to make the line to enter.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theater Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leafmcgowan's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theater

    by leafmcgowan Written Feb 21, 2009
    1 more image

    Ford's Theatre 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 347-4833
    One of America's most famous historic theaters ... Ford's Theater was the monumental site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Lincoln, which makes Ford’s Theatre a unique place in United States history. The theatre has enthralled millions of visitors since its reopening in 1968, and it is one of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital. It's Theatre’s mission is to celebrate the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and to explore the American experience through theatre and education. The Ford’s Theatre Society works to present the Theatre’s nearly one million visitors each year with a high quality historic and cultural experience. Their work is what makes this vibrant historic site an important tool for promoting the ideals of leadership, humanity and wisdom espoused by Abraham Lincoln. This year, 2009, as Ford’s Theatre approaches the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the institution has renewed its commitment to presenting world-class theatre. Within the near future, Ford’s Theatre will be recognized as a major center for learning, where people of all ages can examine the events of that fateful evening in 1865 and experience the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. It's a large building complex, with a modern state of the art rebuilt theater right next to the historic building. The Historic building is managed and operated by the National Park Service. While I didn't have a chance to go in and see the site, it's definitely a hotspot of activity and tourism in D.C. Recommended to visit by many.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Theater Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theatre

    by apbeaches Updated Jul 15, 2008
    2 more images

    Ford's Theatre Theatre is a historic theatre in Washington, D.C., used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded President was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning. The theatre and house are preserved together as Ford's Theatre National Historic Site.

    Pictured is the balcony where Lincoln's assassin, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, had also ordered a fellow conspirator, Lewis Powell, to kill William H. Seward (then Secretary of State). Booth hoped to create chaos and overthrow the Federal government by assassinating Lincoln, Seward, and Vice President Andrew Johnson. Although Booth succeeded in killing Lincoln, the larger plot failed. Seward was attacked, but recovered from his wounds, and Johnson's would-be assassin, George Atzerodt, fled Washington, D.C. upon losing his nerve.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theatre

    by tim07 Updated Mar 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lincoln's Box at Ford's Theatre

    This is where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in April 1865. The box remains draped in a period flag to this day. You can tour the restored theatre on your own or as part of a group. There is a museum to Lincoln in the basement.

    Across the street is Petersen House where Lincoln was carried to & later died. The rooms here are open to the public.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jbkac's Profile Photo

    Gives you Chill's

    by jbkac Written Mar 5, 2008

    Standing in Ford's theatre looking at Lincoln's seat is overwhelming! To think that a president of such stature was killed at that very spot. A history altering event, and a mind numbing experience. Go and be absorbed by one of the most important sites in American History!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theater and Lincoln Museum

    by Paul2001 Updated Jan 28, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Private Box were Lincoln was shot.
    1 more image

    Ford's Theater is is best known as the location of Lincoln's assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth. The theater is also still used for performances and has been beautifully restored.
    Virtually all the pertinent spots involving the Lincoln assassination can be seen including the private box where Booth slipped past a guard and shot the president. In the basement is the Lincoln museum where you can see various artifacts from the assassination such as the derringer Booth had used and clothing that Lincoln had worn on that day.
    Across the street is "The House Where Lincoln Died" and that pretty well says it all too. Not much more here that the bed where his last moments were spent and his family and friends mourned.
    These sites are open from 9am to 5pm daily and are free to visit.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_In_Madison's Profile Photo

    House where Lincoln died

    by Tom_In_Madison Updated Oct 21, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The bed he died in.
    4 more images

    This is about the house where Lincoln died. He was shot at Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. There are plenty of tips on that, so I won't cover it.

    You'll probably end up at Ford's Theatre where Presiden Lincoln was shot. He didn't die there, but in a house across the street about 10 hours later. He was carried across the stret to the Petersen house, and brought to the back bedroom.

    The house is open to the public, and is free of charge. The furniture is mostly from that night, some of it has been replaced and is now with stuff from that period. It's a small house and small room.

    The pillow is from that night, with blood stains.(Or was that in the Fords theatre museum...can't remember).

    Nothing much creeps me out, but standing in that bedroom and looking around and at the bed he died in was a little creepy. Felt weird to be there and see it. Not saying don't go, just saying it is rather emotional to be there.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theatre

    by Tom_Fields Written Aug 26, 2006
    Ford's Theatre
    4 more images

    This is where President Abraham Lincoln was assasinated on April 14, 1865, just after the end of the Civil War. John Wilkes Booth, a bitter Confederate sympathizer, carried out the murder during the play "Our American Cousin".

    The box where Lincoln and his wife Mary sat is preserved as a memorial. The entire theater looks as it did on that night which traumatized the nation. Across the street is the Petersen house, where the stricken President was taken after the shooting. He died there shortly afterward.

    To this day, this is still a working theater. It also has a small museum downstairs. Osborn Oldroyd, an expert on Lincoln, collected many of the historic artifacts displayed here.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Theater Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    The Assassination of Lincoln

    by rexvaughan Written Feb 17, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lincoln's box at the theatre
    3 more images

    April 14, 1865 was the fateful night on which John Wilkes Booth shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre. The theatre itself was a very successful venture but after this tragic event, it did not function again until 1968, 14 years after President Eisenhower signed the act calling for its restoration. In the intervening 90 years it was used as an office building, warehouse and museum. Today it is a functioning theatre focusing on producing new American musicals and plays about influential and cherished Americans. It is wonderful to see the facility functioning as it was in Lincoln’s day, but it does mean that during performances you cannot do the tour of the theatre. If you go, check the schedule as the theatre is usually closed only for about 3 days a week while rehearsals or matinees are in progress.

    The theatre has been beautifully and meticulously restored so that it is virtually all a reproduction of the theatre of Lincoln’s time. However, the sofa in his box and the engraving of President Washington which hangs on the front of the box are the originals which were there the night Lincoln was shot.

    The facility is run by the National Park Service and these folks do a great job with maintenance as well as providing an excellent short lecture, I think at 15 minutes after the hour throughout the day. The lower level of the building houses a small but excellent museum which contains a lot of mementos from Lincoln’s life as well as focusing on the elaborate conspiracy planned by Booth and his group which intended the assassination of not only the President but also the Vice President and Secretary of State, intending to throw the Union into political chaos. Included are lots of photos, information and weapons including the gun Boot used to kill Lincoln.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theater & "The House Where Lincoln Died"

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jan 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ford's Theater
    4 more images

    Originally a Baptist Church, John T. Ford converted this building into a music hall in 1861. It burned down and was rebuilt in 1863 as Ford's New Theater. Ford's Theater never reopened after Lincoln's death until 1968.

    On April 14 1863, President Abraham Lincoln was watching the play "Our American Cousin" when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth. After being shot, Lincoln was carried out of the theater and taken to the nearest occupied house, which was the Peterson House across the street from the Theater (the sign on the front of the house boldly states "The House Where Lincoln Died"). He was taken to the small bedroom at the back of the house on the main floor. The bed was so small he had to be placed at an angle to fit. Lincoln died the next day, 15 April 1863, of a single gunshot wound to the head.

    Booth escaped and was shot to death 12 days later in Maryland when he refused to surrender.

    Entrance to the Peterson house is free and the tour takes all of 2 minutes. The furniture in the room where Lincoln died is a replica of the original.

    I did not go in Ford's Theater as the ticket man told me they were "having a bad day." I had to inquire, and he told me the lead actor in the play that was being performed that afternoon had a heart attack and the theater was closed. I didn't ask if the audience got their money back.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mattreider's Profile Photo

    Ford's Theater

    by mattreider Written Nov 7, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ford's theater is still selling tickets for various theater acts, although it's "Christmas Carol" is a yearly standard.

    According to the website, "On the evening of April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, his wife and two guests attended Our American Cousin . That night, John Wilkes Booth fired a shot that plunged the nation into mourning and a Theatre into darkness. John Ford tried to reopen the Theatre but threats of arson closed its doors. The government bought the Theatre in 1866 and over the next 90 years it was an office building, warehouse and museum."

    Now it's a theater and a national historic site, with various memorials and momentos from the assasination of Lincoln, including the booth where he was shot.

    Anyway, it's a good place to visit, as no tickets are needed, and there is a good does of history and mystery involved. It is right next to the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Washington D.C.

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

87 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Ford's Theatre - Petersen House
3.5 out of 5 stars
651 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
946 Opinions
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
1268 Opinions
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Washington D.C. hotels