Points Of Interest

Point #1
Let's Start!

728 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Start

Let’s get started! I need you to head toward the White House now. So go east on Pennsylvania Avenue. The entrance to the Renwick Gallery needs to be on your left. Don’t worry. I’ll tell you about it at the next stop.

Point #2
Blair House

1602 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic buildings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_Guest_House

The Renwick Gallery that was on your left was established by the Smithsonian to host American contemporary craft, celebrating makers taking both innovative and time-honored approaches to their work. Often times, the exhibits in the Gallery are so popular that guests wait in lines for more than an hour to see the beautiful, but cutting-edge art and installations. This National Historic Landmark was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1858 and was the first building in the United States built specifically to be an art museum. While we have a lot of places on this tour for us to go see, if you have time later, this is one you’ll definitely want to come back and check out. Now on your left is the Blair house. It’s the cream colored brick building with green shutters. Technically a part of the White House complex, the Blair House has been called “the world's most exclusive hotel," "Uncle Sam's guesthouse," and "the best small hotel in Washington," and rightly so. Since 1942, the Blair House has been a hotel of choice for former presidents, incoming Presidents, and major leaders from around the world. Some of the Blair House’s more interesting guests include Margaret Thatcher, Ariel Sharon, and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. It's so exclusive that when the Obamas asked to move in a little early so their daughters could start school on Jan. 5, the President-elect and his wife were told they had to wait their turn. ('SORRY, WE'RE BOOKED,' WHITE HOUSE TELLS OBAMA was the New York Times headline.) Apparently Australia's former Prime Minister, John Howard, already had dibs. There are countless stories about the Blair House in the press – go ahead and give it a quick Google search and you’ll see! Let’s keep walking.

Point #3
Rochambeau Statue

1602 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://www.nps.gov/whho/learn/historyculture/rochambeau.htm

Up ahead, you’ll see a statute of Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donation de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau – a French nobleman who played a significant role in the U.S. Revolution. You may remember from the Hamilton musical that he was the commander of the French Army assisting the colonists during the War. The Washington Evening Star noted that while “it was customary in America to look upon Lafayette as the representative of France’s assistance to the United States during the critical days of the revolution…, as far as the French government was concerned in the issues of that conflict the great field marshal, Count de Rochambeau, was at all times its representative.” A statue to Rochambeau, then, would symbolize official Franco-American diplomatic relations, not only in the eighteenth century but also at the dawn of the twentieth century. Turning back to the song “Guns and Ships” in Hamilton, we are reminded that Rochambeau went to France to secure more funds, guns and ships, which were then used at the Battle of Yorktown. In May 1902, Congress approved a statue commemorating Rochambeau, with essentially no debate.

Point #4
White House South Lawn

1563 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : White House
https://www.whitehouse.gov/

You made it to the White House! Awesome! A lot of people view this side of the White House as the back side, since the other side is the more common pictured view, but this is actually the front of the White House, which makes sense as we’re standing on Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House’s address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The other side is famous because you can see the oval office, that’s the side where the President boards Marine One, and the side dignitaries are welcomed when they come to visit. The top floor is the residence part of the White House, where the President sleeps and if there are any children living in the White House, their bedrooms are facing you. I have to go to places like an airport or a major shopping mall to get in some good people-watching time, but one of the perks of having a dad for the president is you can just go look out your bedroom window and be entertained all day. But the residence isn’t limited to just the top floor, the residence actually spans six floors, with 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators…forget people watching, you could have an epic game of hide-and-seek in this place. What’s really amazing is how the First Family moves into this place. It’s like a well-oiled machine, which it would have to be if they’re going to get everything done in just five hours. That’s right, on inauguration day, at 10:30 am, they start moving everything that belonged to the current president out and by 2:30 pm have everything moved in and set up for the incoming First Family. Not only do the staffers have to move out the sitting president’s belongings, they also have to move in the president-elect’s things, but furniture is changed, artwork swapped, walls are repainted, all per the requests of the incoming first family. It takes me five hours to just pack up my kitchen, forget moving out, redecorating and completely moving in. I need a nap just thinking about doing all of that. Another interesting fact that most people don’t realize is while the president gets to live rent-free, that’s about all they get for free. The President is still responsible for paying for all meals, whether at the White House or somewhere else, catering for all events hosted at the White House, including wages for those working the event, and even transportation. Marine One might be a cool way to get from point A to point B, but the rates are crazy. A lot of presidents end up going into some major debt during their term. For example, Bill Clinton’s debt totaled up where towards $10 million by the time he left office. But life is pretty slick when all you have to do is go down to the basement where you have just about anything you would need from your dentist’s office, personal carpenter, chocolate shop and florist – even President’s forget it’s their anniversary and need something last minute, to a theater and bowling alley. As for pets in the White House, while dogs might be the most common, there has also been a pet racoon, two opossums, a turkey (we’ll get to that later), a children’s pony, an alligator, and a pair of tiger cubs that were gifted to President Van Buren. Pretty sure you’re going to lose your pet deposit with some of those. As for the turkey – while it was President George H.W. Bush who began the tradition of pardoning a turkey in 1989, and every president has kept that tradition since, the saving of a holiday turkey can be traced back to 1863 when President Lincoln was gifted a Christmas turkey for the holiday feast and his young son, Tad, intervened. I think it’s safe to say Tad was hands down the most rambunctious, and by rambunctious, I mean out of control, child to live in the White House. But as the old saying goes when it comes to raising kids, “you’ve got to pick your battles.” and with the Civil War at hand, I’m thinking Tad’s youthful…shenanigans was on the lower end of the totem pole when it came to the battles President Lincoln was dealing with. Just to give you a few examples, Tad was known to have sprayed dignitaries with fire hoses, force the White House servants to play war with him and he’d march them around the grounds like infantry, and to show his patriotism, he also took it upon himself to raise money for the United States Sanitary Commission, ( which was the Civil War’s equivalent of the Red Cross). When Tad felt passionate about something, he definitely put his whole heart into it and the Lincoln’s often found it hard to tell him no, which brings us to the Christmas turkey in 1863. A few weeks before Christmas, the first family was gifted a turkey for their holiday feast. Tad instantly fell in love with the bird, announced he was adopting it as a pet, and was naming him Jack. Believe it or not, Tad actually taught his new pet turkey to follow him as he hiked around the White House grounds. On Christmas Eve, Lincoln sat down and told Tad that Jack would no longer be his pet as he had been given to the family to eat on Christmas Day. Tad insisted Jack was a good turkey, that the bird had every right to live, and begged his father to not kill him. It was no surprise to anyone when the president gave in to his son, making it official by writing a reprieve for the turkey on a card, and handing it to Tad. So, thanks to a turkey named, Jack, every year a holiday turkey is pardoned by the president and saved from being part of the holiday feast. Before we move on, I wanted to quickly mention the tent pitched behind you, on the side of the street facing the white house. While current laws prohibit anyone from pitching a tent and/or sleeping overnight in Lafayette Park, this particular tent dwelling was established before that became a law and was therefore grandfathered in, and is allowed under one condition, the tent has to always be occupied, someone has to always be living in the tent. If the tent is empty for even just one night, regardless of weather conditions, then the dwelling will be dismantled permanently. This tented dwelling was first pitched in August 1981 as an anti-nuclear vigil in front of the White House, eventually it became known as the White House Peace Vigil. Concepcion Picciotto was one of the first to join William Thomas, who founded the tent, and she lived there, 365 days a year for almost 34 years. Eventually, lobbyists saw the value in having access to such prime protesting real-estate and began assisting the tents occupants. On nights when weather was its most severe, they would bring someone to live in the tent for a period of time so Concepcion could stay somewhere warm for a few days and get some much-needed rest. Since her death in 2016, Philipos Melaku-Bello has taken over as resident of the vigil’s tent, ensuring it will continue its Peace Vigil for as long as there are people willing to support their vigil for a nuclear-free world. Ok, time to move on. As you are facing the White House, you need to go to the right, toward 17th Street.

Point #5
General Marquis Lafayette

701 Madison Pl NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/lafayette.html

Ahhh, General Lafayette. That’s his statue up on your left. His actual title was General Marquis de Lafayette, but his friends simply called him Lafayette. Considering his birth name was Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, it’s easy to see with all the different names he could go by, he preferred...Lafayette. He was only 20 years old when Congress appointed him to be a major general in the Army fighting for the American Revolution. He was passionate in his loyalty to the cause and it showed when he led his men in blocking Cornwallis’ forces, which ultimately led to the surrender of Yorktown. Not too shabby considering he’d only been a general for 4 years. Behind every great general are great men which is why this memorial is actually a memorial to Lafayette and his Compatriots. On the east side is a group who represent the Revolution’s French naval heroes. If you look closely you’ll see Vice Admiral Count Charles Hector Thoedat D’Estaing. A lot of long names at this memorial! D’estain brought over the first fleet of French war vessels sent to assist in the attack on Savannah. Across from D’Estaing is Lieutenant General Francois Joseph Paul, Counte de Grasse. He received the thanks of Congress for his services, which included the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Point #6
Freedman's Bank

1501 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Bank
https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/freedmans-savings-and-trust.html

On your left is the Freedman’s Bank Building. With the end of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was finally abolished in the United States. Almost overnight nearly 4 million African American men, women, and children were freed. While you might think this would be the most amazing moment for these men, women, and children, you have to remember that this was right after the end of the Civil War. Things were in chaos, the South in ruins, and most of these people had no home, no money, and no work. I can’t imagine all the emotions they must have felt during this time. In an effort to help the newly freed African Americans, the U.S. government created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or Freedmen’s Bureau for short. They worked on helping with physical needs and building schools. While that was going on, a group of missionaries, abolitionists, and businessmen worked to create a savings bank for these former slaves, African American veterans, and their families. In 1865, by an act of the U.S. government, Abraham Lincoln signed the papers making The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company a private corporation. The Freedman’s Bank was open for business. In 1867, the Freedman’s Bank moved its headquarters from New York City to Washington, D.C., right where we’re standing. What happened next is heartbreaking and what I would call a criminal-like turn of events. A group of local bankers, politicians and businessmen began to take control of the newly relocated bank. At the urging of these new trustees, who should never have been trusted, Congress amended the bank’s charter. With the amended charter they began investing in real estate projects and railroads, made risky loans to friends, some with no collateral. They also took on bad loans from other banks under their charge. The U.S. Congress was supposed to supervise the trustees, but they paid little to no attention, so when the financial panic hit in 1873, the bank was doomed. The trustees, in an attempt to save the bank, asked Frederick Douglass to come on board and replace the current bank president. He accepted the position without knowing how bad the situation really was. Well there’s a shocker - the trustees withheld the truth, lied, and manipulated a man into taking over a bank they knew was doomed? I’m surprised at this point they didn’t change from calling them TRUSTees to EVILees. Douglas later referred to his new position as being “married to a corpse.” In June 1874 the Freedman’s Bank was closed. While we can’t change how past events unfolded, we can learn going forward and use this memorial as a reminder to strive to do better, to be honest and honorable to those who have put their trust in us. A memorial to remind us to ask the question, “What kind of legacy do you want to leave.”

Point #7
Albert Gallatin Statue

619 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Albert_Gallatin

I’d like to introduce you to Albert Gallatin. That’s the man depicted in the statue on your right. Swedish by birth, he emigrated to America in 1780 at just 19 years old. Fifteen years later he found himself elected to the House of Representatives and constantly fighting with the independent minded, stubborn, passionate Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, whose statue is on the other side of this building. Gallatin succeeded Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, and served under President Thomas Jefferson, and President James Madison. Under the two presidents, Gallatin served as Secretary for just under thirteen years, which is the longest term to date of any Secretary in the Department’s history. In his final year, before he retired, Gallatin went to Russia to represent the United States in the peace conference with England and France settling hostilities. As a result, the Treaty of Ghent was signed December 24, 1814, thus ending the war of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Now that’s how to retire on a high note. Need some gifts and souvenirs? Ok good. Keep heading east, then cross the street and meet me at the White House Gifts Store at the corner of 15th Street and New York Avenue. We will be turning right there and heading south.

Point #8
White House Gifts

15th St NW + F St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Gift Shop
https://www.whitehousegiftshop.com/Default.asp?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIydC-ip__6AIVmeDICh1LRgJREAAYASAAEgLJBvD_BwE

You need to turn right here to get to our next stop. But, if you need some souvenirs, the White House Gift Shop right here at the corner is a great place to get them. They have a little bit of everything in there, and if you spend more than $50, you can get your picture taken at their replica of the oval office. How about that? When you are done here, head south on 15th and I’ll meet you at Old Ebbitt Grill.

Point #9
Old Ebbitt Grill

15th Street and, F St NW, Washington, DC 20229, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Restaurant
https://www.ebbitt.com/

Check it out everyone! Washington D.C.'s oldest saloon - Old Ebbitt Grill. Presidents such as Grant, Garfield, Cleveland, McKinley and Roosevelt all passed through these doors, which stands to reason since it's located mere steps from the White House. The original structure on this site was built in 1800. And the property that was initially 2 Federal style four-story houses, changed hands a bunch of times before being purchased by William E. Ebbitt in 1856, who turned it into a boarding house. The property changed hands again, and the building served as offices for several newspapers at one point, including The New York Times. But eventually, at least the name stuck, and in 1872, a grand hotel was established at this site, known as Ebbitt House. Inside you will find some really amazing decorations - priceless collections of antiques and memorabilia, beer steins, and animal heads and wooden bears that supposedly were imported by Alexander Hamilton. At least peak inside and get a look at the old mahogany main bar. That will throw you back a few years. If you have the time and the hunger, they have a fantastic menu of main dishes, salads, sandwiches and burgers. If you are gonna stop for a bite to eat, just be sure to come back out and keep heading south. I’ll meet you at the crosswalk at the corner.

Point #10
US Treasury Building

515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic Building
https://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/The-Treasury-Building.aspx

Are you wondering what that HUGE building is across the street? We are gonna take the crosswalk and go right over to it. But pause here and let me give you some info. It is the United States Treasury Building and it has had its fair share of bad days. So much so it’s hard to not get all fired up about it. It was in 1800 when the government moved to Washington, DC and the Department of Treasury moved into a porticoed Gregorian-style building designed by a rather famous English architect. Maybe England didn’t like the fact that the nation they lost a war to was using one of their own to design a building for the nation’s government. Who knows, but it is awfully coincidental that it was only a year later when the structure caught on fire. Hmmmm. Not to be deterred, a new Treasury building was built. All the hard work put into designing and constructing a new building was greatly appreciated...especially by the arsonists. Yep, in 1814 the British burned it to the ground. Winning the war was possible because the United States never gave up, and this was no different. America got to work right away building a new home for the Treasury building once again. With the fires just a memory, it was time to get back to work. Many fire-free years passed and the government continued to work hard so this young nation could grow and prosper. Then in 1833, another fire. I know. It’s craziness. But like the old saying goes, burn me down once shame on you, burn me down twice, shame on me, burn me down three times….well that’s when you build a fireproof building. At the time the Treasury building was completed, it was officially one of the largest office buildings in the world. It is also the oldest departmental building in Washington DC, and the third oldest federally occupied building, preceded by the Capitol and the White House. I’m happy to report that this beautiful majestic building still stands, fire-free, for over 150 years now. Ok, take the crosswalk over 15th Street, if you haven’t already. Then turn left

Point #11
US Treasury Building part 2

1493 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic Building
https://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/The-Treasury-Building.aspx

While the history of the Treasury building itself was quite the HOT topic, let me tell you about the inside. I’d love to tell you about each and every single room, but it’s safe to say neither one of us have time for that! Besides, I don’t think it would go over very well with the secret service if we stood here staring at the building for 12 hours straight. A lot of the rooms are used for senior staff meetings, diplomatic receptions, press conferences and interviews, and meetings with foreign dignitaries. There’s one called the Salmon P. Chase Suite which was used by Chase who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War. According to diary entries, Chase had several meetings with President Lincoln in that very room. The Andrew Johnson Suite was used by President Johnson as his temporary White House immediately after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Black mourning cloth draped throught the Reception Room during the days following the assassination. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Cash Room. Hmmmm, I wonder what that room would have been for? Believe it or not, up until the early 1900’s, the gold, silver, and paper currency was taken to the Treasury Building in a horse-drawn carraige. Then they’d haul it in on hand-carts, to the elevator and into the Cash Room vaults. At any given time there would be several million dollars in the vaults. It was in the 1970’s when the government had to face the fact that the costs of operating the Cash Room, maintaining its staff and security, could no longer be justified. The Cash Room closed on June 30, 1976. Let’s all have a moment of silence for the Cash Room. Let’s say...a 15 year’s worth of a moment of silence. Yep, after having the Cash Room for over 100 years, it only took 15 years before the Treasury Department decided it was too sad seeing it go. Or...what really happened was out of sight out of mind, the need for the room gone, life went on, until someone decided an old office needed renovating. Can you imagine the moment they knocked down a wall to find the long forgotten armored vault used to guard the government’s cash? Finding this vault reignited the appreciation for the Cash Room and its historical significance and the restorations began. Today you would think the entrance to the room was a time portal as every detail from the chandelier to radiator-grill covers appear like they once were, long, long ago. There is so much history in just this building alone, inside and out, it’s definitely one of my favorites. Keep walking and I’ll show you a cool garden and statue.

Point #12
Alexander Hamilton Statue

1493 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hamilton

So here on the south side of the US Treasury Building we have a lovely rose garden and a ten foot statue of Alexander Hamilton. He was the first US Secretary of the Treasury. So I assume that’s why he got this statue. He was also one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a huge promoter of the Constitution, the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the New York Post newspaper, and the United States Coast Guard. He was a busy, busy man. His story is most definitely one of perseverance. He was born out of wedlock somewhere between 1755 and 1757 in the West Indies. His father abandoned him and his mother passed away all by the time young Hamilton was even a teenager. He had been working as an accounting clerk at age 11 and after he was orphaned, his boss helped him by raising money and sending him to America. He attended private school in New Jersey and then King’s College (which became Columbia University). He quit school to join in the American Revolution and became one of George Washington’s most trusted advisors. After the war ended, Alexander Hamilton became involved in law, politics, and forming a new governent. Years later, when Thomas Jefferson and Aarom Burr tied in the presidential election of 1800, Hamilton had to choose sides. He chose Jefferson. He then continued to speak out against Burr, so Burr got angry and challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton lost. Yes, he was shot and killed by Aaron Burr in a duel. And there you have it. After you are done here, continue south on 15th Street and meet me at the corner just past the parking lot.

Point #13
Directions

1168 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

I’ve got a really amazing statue to tell you about next. Please follow the path diagonally into the center of the square.

Point #14
William Tecumseh Sherman Statue

1168 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tecumseh_Sherman

This is General William Tecumseh Sherman. He was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. But I really like horses, so I managed to find some fun info about General Sherman’s steeds. First there was Sam. A few horses were wounded at the Civil War battle of Shiloh in 1862 and Sam was one of them. Sam recovered from his wounds though, and later had the reputation of being “always hungry and never lame”. Supposedly Sam was General Sherman’s second favorite horse. There was also his horse Lexington, but he probably didn’t see any battle time. Another mount of the General’s was Dolly. She was reportedly a feisty, temperamental mare. During a Confederate raid, Dolly was captured. Sherman’s response for losing his horse? He was pleased to think that Dolly would break the neck of the first Rebel who tried to ride her. Guess she was never a “favorite horse”. And finally there was Duke. I’m guessing that Duke is the horse seen here carrying the General, because he was Sherman’s favorite. Duke was a bright bay color with a white blaze on his forehead and one white sock on his left hind leg. Sherman said Duke was the horse he rode everyday in Atlanta. He also had a portrait painted of Duke after the war, and had it hung in his office. Now, if you want to hear a little bit about General Sherman, here are 10 facts that you might not know: He was named after a Shawnee Indian chief and went by the nickname “Cump” as a child. He married his foster sister. Sure did. He dropped out of the military to become a banker. He played a big role in sparking the California Gold Rush He joined the military again after President Lincoln called for 750,000 volunteers to enlist after the Civil War began. He had a mental breakdown during the war and was labeled as “insane” by many newspapers in that time. He was best friends with Ulysses S. Grant. Although he was fighting for the Union, he had sympathy for confederate slave owners and their way of life. So yeah, he was NOT an abolitionist. He was a lifelong fan of the theater. Shakespeare’s Hamlet was one of his favorites William T. Sherman coined the term “War is hell” So there ya go. Hope you learned something. Please take the path that continues heading south and meets back up with 15th Street

Point #15
Directions

188 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ok, it looks like we are back on track. Please keep walking south. 15th Street should be on your left

Point #16
Herbert C. Hoover Building

43212 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic Building
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_C._Hoover_Building

Hey, what’s that huge building across the street? Glad you asked. It’s the Herbert C. Hoover building. A lot of people confuse this Hoover building with the other Hoover building in DC, the J. Edgar Hoover building. So if you ever want someone to meet you at the Hoover building, make sure you specify, otherwise you’ll be at the Department of Commerce and they’ll be at FBI headquarters. I think everyone is familiar with what the FBI does, but not everyone knows what the Department of Commerce does, which is why you have me! In the beginning it was the United States Department of Commerce and Labor. Eventually the Labor division became its own department, the Department of Labor where they would concentrate on the needs of the worker. The Department of Commerce works on creating jobs, economic growth, and supports long term developments, not to mention working to stop harmful trade practices of other nations. With that kind of important work to be done, it makes sense why they’d need a big place, and what better place than the Herbert C. Hoover building. Soooo if you were impressed finding out that the U.S. Treasury building held the title as the largest building in the world when it was built, let me impress you again! When this Hoover building completed construction in 1932, it became the largest office building in the world! Considering it spans three city blocks, has over 3,300 rooms and 1.8 million square feet of office space, it makes sense. What’s really crazy is trying to imagine being in charge of washing the 5200 windows. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Looking at the beautiful architect and feeling the energy that comes from being in the nation’s capitol, it’s hard to believe that at one time no one wanted to build here because it was known as “Murder Bay.” I’m going to go ahead and assume you can guess why a place would be called Murder Bay, so I’m going to skip the gorey details of what it was like here in the 1800’s. Since we no longer have to update our life insurance before visiting this neighborhood they should change it to Burger Bay, because the places around here know how to make one heck of a burger. MMMM. Now I’m hungry!! Maybe next we can go on a burger tour!!

Point #17
Boy Scouts Memorial

43212 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scout_Memorial

If you were to raise your arm up at a 45 degree angle and hold up two fingers, do you know what organization that represents? You got it! (and if you didn’t, we can pretend you did anyway) It represents the Boy Scouts. If you’ve ever wondered why two fingers, it’s because they represent a wolf’s sharp ears, pointed, alert, and listening. This Boy Scout memorial on your right marks the spot for the first scout jamboree in 1937. You’ll notice three figures, a man, a woman, and a young boy. The man and woman are motioning the boy to walk into the future with them, the man is holding a large branch and the boy is holding a staff, symbolizing peace, and the woman is holding a yellow frame representing the eternal flame of God’s Holy Spirit. If you look on the side of the monument you’ll see the Boy Scouts Credo, to do one’s duty to God and country. Sounds like a pretty solid Credo to me. While Boy Scouts can’t camp out in front of the Washington monument and tidal basin for 10 days like they did in 1937 for the first scout jamboree, they still gather together by the thousands for a week-long celebration about an hour away from Virginia.

Point #18
Directions

1500 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Time to cross the street. You have lots of crosswalks to choose from, and I don’t care which ones you use, but you need to end up at the sidewalk on the left side of 15th Street. That will put you on the path to that huge building with inverted pyramid steps and bronze screening. It’s the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Get over there and I’ll tell you more about it.

Point #19
National Museum of African - American History and Culture

150 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://nmaahc.si.edu/

We are coming up on the super awesome National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Inside you will find over 37,000 artifacts. And, unlike any other museum in the area, there were no artifacts on hand when they began this project. They had to ask for people to donate their treasures. Over half of what you will find in this museum are family heirlooms that were donated by Americans. In their Pre-20th century collection you can find eating utensils, a hymnal and a shawl that was owned by Harriet Tubman. She was an American slave who escaped to freedom and then risked her life to help scores of others do the same. Slave clothing, badges, and feet and wrist chains are there as well as hundreds of other items that remind us of the horrible era of slavery in the United States. Their 20th and 21st century displays include a dress that belonged to civil rights activist Rosa Parks, a trumpet owned by jazz musician Louis Armstrong, an amplifier, speakers and turntable used by Tony Tone, gymnastics equipment from gold medalist Gabby Douglas, and President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign office. Sweet Home Cafe is located within the museum and features dishes developed by African American chefs. You can go inside if you’d like, obviously. Then come back out and keep heading south on this path.

Point #20
Directions

100 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Have you noticed that super tall pencil-shaped thing jutting up to the sky on the other side of the street? That’s where we are heading now. Keep walking south until we reach the crosswalk..

Point #21
Directions

100 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Here’s the crosswalk I was talking about. Please take it to your right, then turn left. When you get to where the path splits to the right and to the left, take the path to the left.

Point #22
Washington Monument

1 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Monument
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument

Here’s a pro-touring tip: There are public restrooms straight ahead and on your right. Take advantage. So, the pencil-shaped white building that juts up into the sky is actually the Washington Monument. Feel free to walk on over there and get a good look. Just be sure to meet me on the path just past the restrooms where it veers left to go back to 15th Street. Ok, the Washington Monument It was constructed in honor of the first President of the United States, George Washington, obviously. If we are talking about structures built mostly out of stone, this is the world’s tallest. It’s made of marble, granite and bluestone, and there’s actually no cement holding the bricks together. Yup, just gravity and friction. Well that seems a little unstable. It does have an elevator though. The first elevator ride to the top took a long 20 minutes back around 1888. Also, rumor has it that back in those days people thought that the elevator was too unsafe for women and children, so only men were allowed in. So waaaay up top you can see the pointed apex of the monument. The original design was for it to be flat, but the engineers changed their minds and went with an aluminum pyramid shape instead. There are lightning rods up there as well. Here’s a fun fact - One of the main engineers requested that the US Treasury supply his workers with hot coffee daily while they worked on the apex of the monument. The US Treasury said “yes” to that request. If you are wondering why there are different shades of white on the memorial, that’s because when funds ran out for the project, it sat untouched for two decades. When construction began again, the quarry stone couldn’t be matched. Bummer. The Washington Monument is 555 feet, 5 ⅛ inches tall and has 50 flights of stairs. I think I’d rather take the elevator. How about you? Remember to meet me on the path just past the restrooms where it veers left to go back to 15th Street....

Point #23
Directions

1 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ready for some more fun? Good. We are going to walk down Jefferson Drive because there are a lot of really fun things to see there. Take the crosswalks and get to the right hand side of Jefferson Drive.

Point #24
Forest Service/Holocaust Museum/Bureau of Engraving and Printing

14th St & Jefferson Dr, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museums
https://www.moneyfactory.gov/

If you were to turn right on 14th St it would take you to the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service where you can meet Smokey the bear. Continuing down 14th you would come across the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and then the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. But that’s not where we are going. Just remember where it is because you may want to come back later. Stay on Jefferson Dr. by taking the crosswalk to the other side of 14th

Point #25
United States Department of Agriculture

1400 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Office Building
https://www.usda.gov/

Here is the United States Department of Agriculture building. It’s the big building on your right with the fancy pillars. In 1995 it was named the Jamie L. Whitten building, and is the only building on the National Mall that is not intended for public use. What you can’t see from here is the USDA South Building. That one is HUGE! It was completed in 1936 and was the largest office building in DC until the Pentagon was built. The south building is a good example of Classical architecture with a lot of very expensive detail. If you were walking or driving on Independence Avenue, which is just south of here, you would see the carved sculptures of cows and turkeys and other farm animals on the sides of the building. You would also get to go under two bridges. These are the Department of Agriculture Pedestrian Arches and they are used as pedestrian walkways between the two huge Department of Agriculture buildings. They were named after Seaman A. Knapp and his plaque is on the arch to the east. He was a college professor and administrator who later became interested in farming, moved to Iowa, and raised crops and livestock. So what does the US Department of Agriculture even do? Well, it makes and executes federal laws related to farming, forestry and food. It also develops programs to distribute food, nutrition and nutritional education to those in need. The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month. It also provides surplus foods to developing countries. Pretty cool, I think.

Point #26
USDA Farmer's Market

Smithsonian-National Mall / Jefferson Dr & 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Market
https://www.usda.gov/our-agency/initiatives/usda-farmers-market

If you are here on a Friday from May through October between 9am and 2pm, there will be a really cool farmer’s market on your right, over in that parking lot. There you will be able to purchase anything from apples and apricots to corn, cucumbers, peaches and pears, berries, herbs and mellons, plus fresh cut flowers. This is NOT a comprehensive list. If the market is open, go see for yourself! I bet you will find all sorts of foods and products made from local producers. We are gonna keep heading east on Jefferson Dr SW so I’ll meet you on the other side of 12th street.

Point #27
Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

1100 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Art Gallery
https://asia.si.edu/

This building on your right is the Freer Gallery of Art. Tucked around to the side of it is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and I’ll give you three guesses as to what is inside of these buildings. No cheating by looking at the signs. Nope. These two buildings combined actually make up the National Museum of Asian art. Pieces are represented from East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Islamic world, the ancient Near East, ancient Egypt and even some American art. You will find sculptures, exquisite Chinese jade, Japanese folding screens, modern Japanese pots and vases, Persian manuscripts, Buddhist sculptures and contemporary art. I bet you didn’t know all that.

Point #28
The Smithsonian Institution Building

1100 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Smithsonian Building
https://www.si.edu/museums/smithsonian-institution-building

That red sandstone castle looking building in front of you is the Smithsonian Institute. We are going to take this path to the right here just before you get to the building, but if you want to walk up ahead and see it from the front, go for it. Just come back here and take that path that will lead you behind the building. So the Smithsonian Institute is nicknamed “The Castle”, for obvious reasons, and inside there you will find a pretty neat information center with interactive displays and maps along with a taxidermied peacock and snow leopard and the tomb of James Smithson. Weird combo, I know. The administrative offices of the Smithsonian are in there as well, but that’s not as fun as taxidermied animals and a human tomb. So the building itself was originally supposed to be made out of white marble, and then yellow sandstone but it ended up being constructed with red sandstone because it was cheaper.

Point #29
Enid A. Haupt Garden

1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Gardens
https://gardens.si.edu/gardens/haupt-garden/

This is a really pretty garden area behind the Smithsonian Castle. It’s known as the Enid A. Haupt Garden and it comprises three different gardens - Moongate, Parterre, and the Fountain Garden. Wander around and see if you can find them all. You might also run into the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. It looks similar to the Sackler Gallery except it has copper domes instead of copper triangles. Inside there are over 9,000 works of traditional and contemporary African Art. It was all started by a guy by the name of Warren M. Robbins who collected African figures, masks, books and textiles from antique shops in… wait for it… Germany. You thought I was gonna say “Africa” didn’t you? Anyway, it’s a neat little museum that you should check out. If you decide to wander around, make sure to come back to this path and keep walking. Let’s see if you can find the Andrew Jackson Downing Urn. It’s really a thing and I’ll meet you there after you are done exploring the gardens.

Point #30
Andrew Jackson Downing Urn

1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Urn
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jackson_Downing_Urn

You found the urn! I bet you have no idea who Andrew Jackson Downing is. Of course, I’m going to tell you. He was a landscape designer. At age 26 he wrote the first book about developing an American style of landscaping. This was back in 1841. Before then, everyone was just using the same old European styles. He also attended the very first American Congress of Fruit Growers in 1848, where he was named chairman of its Fruit Committee. He had quite a few beautiful plans for landscaping in DC but unfortunately his life was cut short at age 37 when he died in a riverboat accident… and that’s his memorial urn. Ok, please keep following the path toward Jefferson Drive. The Smithsonian Castle should be on your left.

Point #31
Arts and Industries Building/Carousel

1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Carousel
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/national-mall-carousel

That red brick building on your right is called the Arts and Industries building. It’s claim to fame is being the very first United States National Mall Museum. It has been around since 1881 and has undergone several extremely expensive renovations. Currently it is being used to host private events. So that’s kinda boring. But let me point out the fun carousel on the other side of the street! There’s actually a lot of cool history here so listen up! The carousel started out in a whites-only amusement park near Baltimore, Maryland in the 1940’s. It was the only carousel in the country that featured four horses side by side. But that isn’t the great part. The great part is that after a decade of peaceful protests, the park owners decided to desegregate the park. This happened on the exact day that Martin Luther King, Jr gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington DC. The very first African American child to ride the carousel was Sharon Langley and she rode with her father and two white children. In 1967 the carousel was moved to the location you see now and continues to provide fun and smiles for children of all ages… if they pay $3.50 for a ticket. Follow the path in front of the building. Jefferson Drive should be on your left.

Point #32
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

700 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://hirshhorn.si.edu/

What do you do when you are hired to design a new art building and are told that it needs to provide a striking contrast to everything else in the city? You build this thing. An open cylinder elevated on four massive legs. Yeah, rumor has it that that’s how the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden came to be. It’s the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and inside are over 12,000 pieces of artwork. If you don’t believe me, you can count them yourself! There are paintings, sculptures, photographs, works on paper and much more. There are some big names in there, like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Also a “Wish Tree for Washington DC” by Yoko Ono is a permanent fixture in the Sculpture Garden. It is a special tree where visitors from all over the world can come and either whisper their wishes to its branches, or write a wish on a paper tag and attach it to the tree. At the end of the blooming season, the Hirshorn staff gathers the paper wishes and sends them to Yoko Ono’s “Imagine Peace Tower” in Iceland as part of her global art piece. A little wacky, but I like it. Keep following Jefferson Dr. The National Air and Space Museum is next.

Point #33
National Air and Space Museum

655 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20565, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://airandspace.si.edu/

The next HUGE Smithsonian Museum is on your right. It’s the National Air and Space Museum. If you like things that fly, you will love this place. Opening in 1976, It’s actually the third most visited museum in the entire world! How do I even begin to tell you about everything that is in here. Well here’s a fun sample: The Apollo 11 command module, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, a model of the starship Enterprise from the hit TV show Star Trek, the Wright Borther’s “Wright Flyer”, WWI and WW!! Aircraft, and moon rocks, Yes, rocks that were literally on the moon! This is the largest collection of historic spacecraft and aircraft relics in the world! Now not everything is out on display at once. The National Air and Space Museum owns over 60,000 artifacts and more than 20,000 cubic feet of archival objects. There are rockets, engines, balloons, uniforms, spacesuits, pictures, manuscripts, documents and artwork galore. Did I mention the IMAX theater? Yup. There’s one in there that is 5 stories tall that plays educational in-your-face movies throughout the day. There’s also a planetarium, a public observatory, and the coolest solar-safe telescope so you can look at the sun without burning your eyeballs out. And, just like the rest of the Smithsonian Museums, the National Air and Space Museum here is free, so get in there and explore! Then meet me back out on Jefferson Dr and keep walking. The National Museum of the American Indian is next on the list.

Point #34
The National Museum of the American Indian

Independence Ave SW & 4th Street Southwest, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://americanindian.si.edu/

That large rock-formation looking building on your right is the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s made out of Kasota Limestone, which is found in southern Minnesota. It all started back when Native American leaders discovered that the Smithsonian Institution held more than 15,000 Native American remains and they weren’t doing anything with them. We are going to take the little path that wraps around the building to your left. Go ahead and head to the path. So basically a law was passed that said we need a museum for this stuff. The National Museum of the American Indian opened up in 2004 and now has over 825,000 items in their catalog records that span over 12,000 years and 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americas. Most of the items are from the United States, but you can also find artifacts from Mexico and Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Canada. This museum is probably one of the least visited museums in DC, but I think more tourists would visit if they knew about the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe that’s inside.There’s also a pretty awesome cafe that serves indigenous inspired foods like grilled bison, Indian fry bread and strawberry rhubarb pudding. The museum itself sits on 4 acres and is surrounded by simulated wetlands - kinda like the DC area used to be back when it was inhabited by Native Americans and not politicians. You can also take a free 30 minute Spirit of a Native Place architecture tour as you walk around the museum. Follow the path and find the Buffalo Dancer Statue.

Point #35
Buffalo Dancer II Statue

302 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Satue
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/dancing-on-the-mall-new-statue-represents-pueblo-culture-at-american-indian-museum-120637659/

Found it! This is the 12 foot, 2,000 pound bronze statue called “Buffalo Dancer II.” It is one of the only statues on the mall that represent a living culture, and the very first in honor of the American Indians. The statue represents a Pueblo Indian of New Mexico in celebratory dance. Keep following the path until you get to the sidewalk at Maryland Avenue.

Point #36
Directions

302 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

You are gonna need to turn left at the sidewalk.

Point #37
Directions

201 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

So I need you to get to the other side of Maryland Avenue. Look across the street to your right. Do you see the wrought iron fence? See the four stone pillars with a gate? That’s where you need to be. Pick your crosswalks and I’ll meet you there.

Point #38
Outdoor Botanical Gardens

201 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Gardens
https://www.usbg.gov/visit

So just in case the gate to get into the Botanical Gardens is closed, just go around the garden by walking to your right and turning left at the corner, following 3rd Street, then left at the next corner, and meet me on the sidewalk just before you get to the big greenhouse, otherwise known as the Conservatory. Hopefully the gate is open so you can go inside and have a peaceful walk through the beautiful plants, flowers and fountains. The First Ladies Water Garden is in there, along with an amphitheater, a butterfly garden, a rose garden, a regional garden, a terrace garden and even a rain garden. The terrace and rain gardens are on the opposite side of the Conservatory. Ok, get in there and have fun and then meet me right next to the Conservatory. I can’t wait to take you into that huge greenhouse! If you are facing the building, the exit you need will be all the way to the right. It’s the south side, on Independence Avenue. Just follow your navigation if you need help.

Point #39
Directions

Independence Ave SW + Washington Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Those gardens were beautiful, weren’t they? Turn left please.

Point #40
United States Botanic Garden

118 First St SW, Washington, DC 20219, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Garden
https://www.usbg.gov/about-us

Who likes plants? I do. Remember I said I was gonna take you to a huge greenhouse? Well we have arrived! Ahead on your left is the United States Botanic Garden. In there you can find over 10,000 living plant specimens. Some of them are over 165 years old! This garden was officially established in 1820 and is currently one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. The conservatory at the Botanic Garden is divided into separate rooms with different unique habitats. They are monitored by computer operated sensors to maintain the proper environment, but each plant is hand watered daily. Lucky plants. There are many many plants and environments represented in the Botanic Garden. Tropic, desert, medicinal plants, rare and endangered species, orchids, and so much more. There’s even a reconstructed landscape from way back in the dinosaur days that shows plant species that have survived for 150 million years! The US Botanic Garden also has a wide variety of programs and events throughout the year. There are demonstrations, workshops, concerts, lectures, children’s programs and even fitness programs! I bet you can find something there that interests you. So we can stand around and talk about it more, or you can head in there and see for yourself! Admission is free. Wait, wait. Before you go in, look on the other side of the street at that beautiful park. That is Bartholdi Park and not many people know about it. There’s a huge cast-iron fountain there that is over 30 feet tall, plus beautiful shrubs, evergreens, perennials, annuals and so much more. It’s a great place to go for a stroll and forget you are even in the city at all. Ok. You are free to go explore now. But be sure you come back to Independence Avenue and keep heading east. I’ll catch up with you just after you cross over First St.

Point #41
Directions

118 First St SW, Washington, DC 20219, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

How did you like the Botanic Garden? What was your favorite plant? Can’t pick just one? That’s ok. Go ahead and turn left at the sidewalk. We are making our way to the US Capitol Building.

Point #42
Directions

101 First St SW, Washington, DC 20515, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Please turn right and then follow the crosswalk over Southwest Drive

Point #43
President James A. Garfield Statue

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Statue
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Garfield

Please turn left here and follow the path around to the right. By the way, the statue in the rotunda that you will see on your left is of US President James A. Garfield. He was only president for four months. Yup - shot in the back by lawyer, bill collector, salesman and preacher Charles Guiteau. Guiteau was upset that President Garfield didn’t give him a political job after he won the presidency. Here are a few fun facts about James A. Garfield: He taught himself to write with both hands and also knew Latin and Greek. One of his favorite party tricks was to write with both hands, at the same time, but in different languages. Alexander Graham Bell tried to find the bullet that was lodged in Garfield’s back by using a metal detector he had invented. It didn’t work. There have been seven US Presidents that were born in a log cabin. He was the last of the log Cabin Presidents. He was also the first president whose mother went to the inauguration. And there ya have it. POI 44: Directions We are going to take the path to the right now, and walk up to the United States Capitol. I’ll meet you at the end of the red and grey path. By the way, we are looking at the back side of the

Point #44
Directions

101 First St SW, Washington, DC 20515, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

We are going to take the path to the right now, and walk up to the United States Capitol. I’ll meet you at the end of the red and grey path. By the way, we are looking at the back side of the building.

Point #45
Capitol Building

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Capitol
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol

Have you ever wondered if you are using the correct spelling of the word “capitol?” Sure you have! It can be spelled with either an “o” or an “a”. So how do we know which vowel to use in our spelling? Take a look at the United States Capitol Building. It has a beautiful dome. You can’t miss it. Ok, listen up. Buildings can have domes. Dome is spelled with an “o”. So when you are referring to a capitol building, it is spelled with an “o”. Any other use of the word is spelled with an “a”. You are welcome! You just got a little bit smarter. Well what’s in there? Well, the Capitol building, again spelled with an “o”, is the home of congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. That’s great and all but here are some fun facts you might not hear about at the visitor’s center: And, I might decide to quiz you later, so pay attention! There’s a painting in the Capitol OF the Capitol being burned to the ground. That’s like hanging a picture in your house of your house being on fire. Interesting. Also there are cat paw prints embedded in the concrete floor just outside of the old Supreme Court chamber. Seriously, cats get into everything. There are old marble bathtubs in the basement. Why? Because back in the day, Senators lived in boarding houses in Washington DC with no running water. Imagine all those smelly Senators in the Capitol! So, Congress installed these tubs so members could wash the stink off of themselves. Gross. Some of the elevators in the Capitol Building still have functioning rotary phones. Some visitors probably wouldn’t even know how to use one of these today! There is an automated underground subway car that runs from the Capitol to and from the senate buildings. There are blood stains on some marble stairs in a stairwell in the Capitol left over from a fight that broke out between a former congressman and a reporter. The Capitol has its very own crypt because George Washington was supposed to have been entombed there. But, he is actually taking his dirt nap at Mt. Vernon. Under that empty crypt is a nuclear fallout shelter. And lastly, there’s a huge painting inside the dome of the Capitol and it portrays George Washington as a God, hanging out in heaven with a sword and a bunch of angels. I kid you not. There’s a really amazing United States Capitol Visitors Center on the other side of the building. I’ll take you over there. If you want to wander around a little here, go for it. Just meet me back at this spot and then follow that path to the right. I have a couple more very cool buildings for you to see before we go to the front side of the Capitol. Spelled with what? An “O!”

Point #46
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Please follow the path to the left and then stay to the left.

Point #47
Directions

9 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20219, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Please stay on the path as it takes you to the crosswalk. I’ll meet you on the other side of Southwest Drive.

Point #48
Rayburn House Office Building

9 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20219, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Office Building
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayburn_House_Office_Building

Check out that amazing building across the street. That is the Rayburn House Office Building and it is used by the United States House of Representatives. We are going to turn left on the path here but let me tell you some things about the Rayburn Building first. Can we just all acknowledge here that this building is massive. 2.375 million square feet massive, to be exact. It is by far the largest congressional office building in Washington DC. The congressional bill for construction of this office building had a budget of $2 million plus, and I quote, “such additional sums as may be necessary”. Those “additional sums ended up being a whopping $88 million. I guess the congressmen and women felt they needed a gym below the sub-basement that has cardio machines with TV’s, multiple weightlifting machines, basketball courts,… oh and a shooting range. Hey Americans, thanks for paying your taxes. But let’s not focus on that. As you get to the main entrance of the building you will see two statues on either side of the beautiful pillars. These statues are named Spirit of Justice and Majesty of Law and they are made of solid marble. Also there are underground tunnels and a subway system that connects this building to the Capitol Building and to the longworth House Office Building which we will be walking past next. We are going to walk past a Senate Office Building soon. Do you know the difference between the United States House and the Senate? These two legislative bodies combined make up the United States Congress. The House of Representatives is the lower chamber of Congress. The number of representatives per state is determined by the state’s population and they serve for two years at a time. The Senate is the upper chamber of congress. Each state has two Senate representatives only and they serve six year terms. Ok, head east and I’ll meet you at the corner at New Jersey Avenue.

Point #49
Longworth House Office Building

INDEPENDENCE AVE & NEW JERSEY AVE SE eb, Washington, DC 20515, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Office Building
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longworth_House_Office_Building

Check out the Longworth building across the street to the right. It’s another House of Representatives office building. I love the pillars, don’t you? It was completed in 1933 and was built in the Neoclassical Revival style. It is built on a slope, so the height of the building goes from two stories to four stories. Inside are limestone walls, marble floors and ornamental plaster ceilings. We are going to turn left on New Jersey Ave to get to the other side of the United States Capitol building but I want to draw your attention to the beautiful building on the corner of Independence and New Jersey. The entrance is facing you. That is the Cannon House Office Building and is the oldest congressional office building. Check out the architecture. It is an awesome example of the Beaux-Arts style which is a combo of French neoclassicism, Gothic and Renaissance elements plus a touch of modern materials like iron and glass. It was completed in 1908. Ok, now turn left, walk up to Southwest Drive, and then take the crosswalk over New Jersey Avenue.

Point #50
Directions

INDEPENDENCE AVE & NEW JERSEY AVE SE eb, Washington, DC 20515, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ok, follow your navigation. It should take you right to the front of the US Capitol Building. Look around as you walk. Take in the beauty. I’ll meet up with you in front of the building and tell you more fun things about it.

Point #51
Capitol Building Visitors Center

2436 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Visitors Center
https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/

Pretty breathtaking, am I right? You know, the Capitol building was originally supposed to be named the “Congress House”. Thomas Jefferson, who was the third president of the United States, didn’t like that name and decided he wanted it to be called the Capitol. The word “Capitol” originates from Latin, and has something to do with the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in Rome. So in case anyone ever asks you “Where did the word ‘capitol’ come from?”, you will know. So if I’m being honest, the best way to learn everything you could ever want to know about the Capitol Building is by taking advantage of their truly amazing Visitors Center. You can access that entrance by heading toward 1st Street. The Center is actually underneath us. If you walk away from the Capitol Building and toward 1st street, you will see the elevator entrance on either side of the walkway. Or you can continue on the path and then wrap around to either the left or the right to get to the Visitor Center. So why is this particular Visitor Center so cool? Well, it has three underground levels and actually doubles the size of the US Capitol Building complex. There are meeting rooms and conference rooms, a Congressional Auditorium, and a 450 seat theater, among other things. There’s more. You will also find an exhibition hall with touch screen displays and a collection of documents signed by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. There are so many amazing things to see in there but the space is mainly used to hold visitors who are waiting to take a tour of the capitol. The US Capitol can see as many as 3 million tourists every year and ya gotta put them all somewhere, right? In times past, people waiting for tours had to just sit outside in the weather, rain or shine. But now they get to hang out in the Visitor’s Center where there’s an exhibition hall, two gift shops, and a huge food court. By the way, tickets to tour the Capitol are free, so take advantage of it! Ok, I’m dying to show you the Library of Congress. I think the building is so gorgeous. I want you to see it. Take the path toward First Street.

Point #52
Directions

1st St & Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ok, take the crosswalk to the right. Cross over First Street and then turn right. The Library of Congress is down that way.

Point #53
Library of Congress

68 First St SE, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Library
https://www.loc.gov/

No really, how amazing is this building? We are at the Library of Congress. It’s that massive grey building with the pillars and dome and lamp posts. But first let’s talk about that fountain right in front of it. It’s called the Court of Neptune Fountain. Get up there and let’s talk about it. It’s in the middle of the building, up near First Street. Let’s take a few minutes to really study this work of art. It just might be my favorite fountain in all of Washington, DC. We’ve got a muscular, 12 foot tall King Neptune in the middle with two tritons blowing into conch shells… and a snake. Yup, there’s a snake. Then we’ve got sea nymphs riding seahorses, and just a head’s up - Everyone is naked. This really is one of the most impressive fountains in all of DC and it is quite different from any of the others, and it is secretly my favorite. But behind my favorite fountain is the Library of Congress. This is not just your ordinary library. It is actually the largest library in the world. The world. It’s open to the public but you can only check out books and other materials if you are a high ranking government official or Library of Congress employee. So if you want to read any of the 32 million books, 61 million manuscripts, over 1 million US government publications, 1 million issues of world newspapers, 5.3 million maps, 6 million works of sheet music and a bunch more stuff, you are gonna have to grab a cup of coffee and gear up to do it in that building. Ok. Let’s head north on 1st St. That’s the direction we just came from. The Library of Congress should be on your right. Cross over East Capitol Street and keep walking. I’ll catch up to you.

Point #54
US Supreme Court

100 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic Court Building
https://www.supremecourt.gov/

Court is in session!!! That building on your right with the cool pillars is the Supreme Court of the United States. It’s kind of a big deal so I’ll tell ya a little bit about it. Sometimes referred to as the SCOTUS, it is the highest court in the United States. The court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight other justices that the president picks and the Senate confirms. If you are lucky enough to be a supreme court justice, you get to stay there for your whole life. Each justice gets one vote in all cases. Most cases are decided by a 5-4 margin which shows how evenly the court is politically and socially divided. There’s a lot of history in that pillared building. And speaking about pillars. Why don’t we talk a little bit about the architecture of this beautiful building. The basis of the design stems from the classical Roman temple form. If you compare it to the style of the Library of Congress, you can see that this building has much more of a classical, dignified style to it. There aren’t any naked sea nymphs either, unfortunately, but there are two fully clothed statues I will point out. To the left of the main steps is the female figure, Contemplation of Justice. She represents the beauty and intelligence of justice. To the right of the main steps is the Guardian or Executor of the Law. He represents power and vigilance in enforcing the law. By the way, tickets to visit an actual supreme court session are also free so take advantage of that!

Point #55
United Methodist Building

Constitution Ave NE + 1st St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Church Building
https://www.umcjustice.org/who-we-are/the-united-methodist-building

Now we are gonna keep heading north until we get to Constitution Ave and then we will be turning left. Notice the United Methodist Building ahead on your right. Did you know that it’s the only non-government building on Capitol Hill? Yup. True story.

Point #56
Senate Park and Senate Office Buildings

Constitution Ave NE + 1st St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Office Buildings
https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/russell-senate-office-building

Before you turn left, look on either side of the street just past the intersection and you will see a couple of Senate office buildings - the Russell building and the Hart building. The prettier looking one on the left is the Russell Building and is a great example of the Beaux Arts style of architecture. The Hart building? Meh, not so much. Ok, now turn left on Constitution and head toward Delaware Avenue.

Point #57
Senate Park

Constitution Ave NE + Delaware Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Park
https://www.aoc.gov/projects/senate-underground-garage-and-landscape-restoration

We are going to turn left toward the Capitol Building in about a block, but if you look diagonally to your right you will see what’s known as Upper Senate Park. It is centered around a large fountain with a very pretty tree-lined lawn. Behind the Upper Senate Park is the Lower Senate Park. It has a really nice rectangular reflecting pool, wide pathways, fountains and steps. Maybe take a stroll over there sometime!

Point #58

Summer House, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction :

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Point #59
The Summerhouse

Summer House, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic House
https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-grounds/summerhouse

Ok explorers - follow the path to your right but look to your left. There’s a small, hexagon shaped red brick building over there.It might be hard to see, but that is by design. It is the Summerhouse and it was built in 1881 in response to complaints that visitors to the Capitol Building had nowhere to rest and no water. Currently it is only open in the spring and summer, during daylight hours. Run over there and check it out. The “basket weave” texture on the exterior walls is very cool. There’s also seating in there for up to 22 people, so go give your legs a rest! You must be tired by now. When you are done resting, get back on that trial and continue following it along Northwest Drive. Follow your navigation.

Point #60
Directions

Summer House, Washington, DC 20016, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Did you rest your legs? Good. Stay on this path.

Point #61
Peace Monument

60 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Monument
https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-grounds/peace-monument

Right in front of you is what’s known as the Peace Monument and it commemorates the naval deaths at sea during the American Civil War. It is actually part of a three-part group of sculptures that include the James A. Garfield Monument and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. I’ll tell you about all three and you can feel free to stroll down 1st street to see them, but make sure you come back to this spot and then head west on the right hand side of Pennsylvania Avenue. I know it looks like a parking lot, but just trust me. Ok, the Peace Monument has women depicting Grief and History. Grief is resting her head in sorrow on History’s shoulder. Below Grief and History is Victory. She signifies strength with her oak branch. Finally, beneath Victory we have some babies. Baby Mars and baby Neptune. The God of War and the God of the Sea, respectively. Let’s continue following the path to the left.

Point #62
Directions

60 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Stay on the path. When you get to the crosswalk, please cross over First Street.

Point #63
Directions

80 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

So our next stop is the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and it is amazing. You need to see it from the front side, so go ahead and turn left, follow the path, then meet me directly in front of the statue. That’s the side closest to the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

Point #64
Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

80 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-grounds/ulysses-s-grant-memorial

Alright, Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th president of the United states, his horse’s name was Cincinnati and he was Grant’s favorite steed. This beautiful horse was chestnut in color and stood 17 hands tall. For those of you who don’t know horse measurements, that’s about five and a half feet at the horse’s shoulder. So Cincinnati was a big big boy! He was known to have a quiet, almost lazy personality except during war time. It seemed that the sounds of battle got his blood racing and he was always eager to run into the thick of it. By the way, UCPlaces has a Horse Statues of DC tour that is really, really good. Check it out another time! Ulysses S. Grant was also known for his calmness during war and was so fond of Cincinnati that he only allowed two other people to ride him. The statue itself is the second largest horse statue in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. I sure talked a lot about Ulysses S. Grant’s horse, didn’t I? Ok, here are some fun facts about Ulysses himself: His real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but since his initials spelled “HUG”, and that was embarrassing, he ended up going by Ulysses S Grant. His name was actually picked out of a hat at his birth. The “S” as his middle initial actually doesn’t mean anything. He was invited to attend the play where President Lincoln was assasinated. He didn’t go, and regretted it because he wished he could have protected Lincoln. He helped establish Yellowstone National Park. He was an accomplished artist. He kind of had the reputation of being a drunk. Oh well. The statue of President Grant is guarded by lions at each corner of the monument, and on his north side is the famous Cavalry Group. To Grant’s south side is the Artillery Group. There is so much to look at with this memorial so give it some time. Then head north, following alongside the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It will be on your left. I’ll meet you where the sidewalk meets Pennsylvania Avenue.

Point #65
Capitol Reflecting Pool

80 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Pool
https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-grounds/capitol-reflecting-pool

We are going to follow the path to the left here. That six acre body of water off to your left is the Capitol Reflecting Pool. It was designed to reflect the Capitol dome and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. It was completed in 1971 and has been a really popular attraction in DC. The steps there are great to sit on and admire the reflections. Unfortunately there isn’t any filtration system in place and the whole thing leaks but whatever. The ducks and seagulls that swim in the pool seem to enjoy it. Meet me at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street.

Point #66
Directions

300 3rd St SW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Please turn left here.

Point #67
Directions

300 3rd St SW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

I still have so many more exciting things to show you. Please cross the street to the right. Follow the sidewalk. You should be on the right hand side of Madison Drive.

Point #68
National Gallery of Art - East

300 3rd St SW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Art Gallery
https://www.nga.gov/about/welcome-to-the-east-building.html

Let’s check out some art! The Natural Gallery of Art consists of the East Building, the West Building and the Sculpture Garden. The two buildings are connected by an underground tunnel. Very cool. Anyway, head south on 3rd Street and turn right on Madison so I can take you to see all of the art. The East Building, to your right, is filled with modern and contemporary art. You will find things in there from great artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol. The building itself is also a work of art. It really stands out with its much more modern architecture among the older Beaux Arts and Classical architecture which covers most of DC. There are 500 works of art inside, along with two sky-lit tower galleries, a very nifty rhombus shaped staircase and my favorite - a rooftop terrace with a HUGE blue rooster sculpture on it. Run inside and check it all out if you want, then come back out here and keep heading west on Madison Drive.

Point #69
National Gallery of Art - West Building

600 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Art Gallery
https://www.nga.gov/about/buildings.html

Here we are at the National Gallery of Art - West Building. Between this and the East building that we saw earlier, there are roughly 141,000 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures that stretch all the way back to the Middle Ages. The west building houses artwork by European masters from medieval times through the late 19th century plus some pre 20th century American stuff. Are you looking for a Rembrandt, a Monet, or a Van Gogh? How about a Da Vinci? Well, the ONLY Leonardo Da Vinci painting in the entire western hemisphere is right in that building. And that’s all the art we have. Wait, who am I kidding? We still have the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden up ahead. Wanna go check it out? Cool! Keep walking in the same direction on Madison Drive.

Point #70
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

717 Madison Dr NW, Washington, DC 20408, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Sculpture Garden
https://www.nga.gov/visit/sculpture-garden.html

Ahead on your right is the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. You can totally go in there and check it out. Just come back to Madison Drive and keep walking when you are done. Amongst the beautiful trees and flowers and landscaping here, you will also find 17 major sculptures to admire. In the summer there are “Jazz in the Garden” events on Friday nights where you can sit by the reflecting pool and listen to some great music. That reflecting pool is right in the middle of the garden and if you are here in the winter, don’t fret! They turn the whole pool into an ice skating rink, which is just as fun. The Pavilion Cafe is located in the Garden as well and it offers year round food service along with indoor seating. Up ahead is the Smithsonian Pollinator Garden. You know, pollen. That stuff that makes you miserable in the springtime with itchiness and coughing and sneezing. The Pollinator Garden actually ENCOURAGES pollination! Let’s go check it out.

Point #71
Anthony W. Simms Tunnel

1025 Madison Dr NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Tunnel
https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/anthony-w-simms-tunnel-designation-act-2000

Did you enjoy the Sculpture Garden? Let’s keep heading west. The Smithsonian Pollinator Garden is next. We are going to cross over the Anthony W. Simms Tunnel. This tunnel was dedicated to Metropolitan Police Officer Anthony W. Simms in 2001.

Point #72
Smithsonian Pollinator Garden

777 Madison Dr NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Garden
https://gardens.si.edu/gardens/pollinator-garden/

Did you know that nearly 90% of flowering plants rely on animal pollinators for fertilization? Yeah! Butterflies, bees, flies, beetles and even birds bats and small mammals are great at pollinating plants. This Pollinator Garden has the native species of plants that they all need for year-round pollination. You have to have awesome pollination in order to have an awesome ecosystem. The next time you eat something, remember that for every three bites you eat, one of those bites is dependent on the work of pollinators! Go check out the garden and show some appreciation! Then come back here and keep walking.

Point #73
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

777 Madison Dr NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://naturalhistory.si.edu/

Wanna see a life sized stuffed elephant? It makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. Inside the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History is the aforementioned elephant. And by the way, this is the most visited Smithsonian Museum in all of DC. Well why is it the most visited Museum? What’s in there? I mean, besides the stuffed elephant? Dead things. Thousands and thousands of dead things. Fossils, mummies, every possible taxidermy animal that you can think of, meteorites, gems and bugs. Yeah bugs. They have a huge bug display, and by huge I mean 30 million insects, and a live tarantula feeding during the day which is always a hit with the kiddos. Do you like fish stored in jars? I don’t mean the ones you get at the grocery store. I mean the 7 million fish that are stored off-site and loaned to different museums around the nation. I just thought that was interesting, so I told you about it. You can also find the Hope Diamond in that building and the Star of Asia Sapphire. Lots of armed guards in that section, so don’t even try to run off with one of them. The Dinosaur Hall has catalogued over 570,000 fossil specimens. The Hall of Mammals has so many taxidermy animals that I bet you can’t think of even one animal that isn’t on display. Just try. There’s also an Ocean Hall, a Western Cultures Hall, and.. You know what? There’s so much fun stuff in there why don’t you go inside and take a look! It’s free afterall. Our next stop is just past the next intersection. I’ll see you there.

Point #74
Smithsonian National Museum of American History

1300 Madison Dr NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Museum
https://americanhistory.si.edu/

On your right is the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. What’s in there? Over 3 million random objects representing America’s science, technology, society and culture. Everything from the Star Spangled Banner Flag, to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, to Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves. Between this place and the one we just came from, you could literally spend the entire day checking out all the great things. Ever wondered about the history of the American lunchbox? There is actually a display in there that celebrates lunchboxes. It’s on the lower level near the food court, of course. On the second floor there are a lot of rotating exhibits. An original copy of the Gettysburg Address was here for a while, on loan from the white house. The third floor has exhibits from all United States Wars while on the west wing of the third floor you will find amazing displays of music, sports and entertainment throughout the history of America. Are you exhausted yet? Well I am, so this is the end of the tour. I’m already missing you though so please, please join me for another tour again. UCPlaces has so many here in Washing DC. If you are completely lost at this point, if you continue on Madison Drive, it will intersect with 15th Street. Turn right on 15th and that will take you back up to the White House, where we began. This has been so much fun for me. I hope you went into some of the museums, but if you didn’t have time, please come back now that you know where everything is. Thanks so much for spending time with me today! Hope to see you soon, but until then, so long and happy touring!