Washington DC Travel Guide - Find Hotels, Tours & Attractions in the US Capitol

 
National Building Museum

401 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Attractions>Sight



Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum is America’s premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. Since opening its doors in 1985, the Museum has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas and information about such topical issues as managing suburban growth, preserving landmarks and communities, and revitalizing urban centers. The Museum's engaging exhibitions and education programs – including innovative curricula for school children and stimulating programs for adults - annually attract more than 400,000 people. As a private, nonprofit institution, the National Building Museum relies on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to continue its vital work. Support the Museum by becoming a member. The Museum occupies one of Washington's most spectacular structures, designed in 1881 by civil engineer and U.S. Army General Montgomery C. Meigs and completed in 1887. The building, which originally housed the Pension Bureau and was later occupied by many government agencies, is widely recognized as a marvel of engineering.


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Because the city was built from scratch, Washington's regular town plan is easy to grasp. Centered on Capitol Hill and its governmental monoliths, the District is divided into four quadrants - northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest. Dozens of broad avenues , all named after states, run diagonally across a standard grid of streets , meeting up at monumental traffic circles like Dupont Circle. North-south streets are numbered, east-west ones are lettered. There's no J Street, an intentional slight to early Supreme Court Justice John Jay, or X, Y or Z Street. I Street is often written Eye Street. Be sure to note the relevant two-letter code in any address (NW, NE, SW, SE), which shows its quadrant; 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW is a long way from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave SE.

Once in the city, stop at the DC Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center , Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm; tel 202/328-4748), which can help with maps, tours, bookings and citywide information. Look for visitor information desks at the airports and Union Station. The White House Visitor Information Center , 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW (daily 7.30am-4pm; tel 202/208-1631), supplies free maps and handy guides to museums and attractions; the most useful is the free Washington DC Visitors Guide .

 
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Popular Attractions
US Capitol Building
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Smithsonian Air-Space Museum
Lincoln Memorial
National Mall
Arlington National Cemetery
Mount Vernon Estate
Washington Monument

Featured Hotels
 •
L'enfant Plaza Hotel
   Walk (.4 mi) to Smithsonian
 • Sofitel Lafayette Sq.
   Bold interiors/unstuffy appeal,
   close to White House
 • The Churchill Hotel
   Historic character, 3 blocks to
   DuPont Circle




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Must See Washington DC 2017
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