Dupont Circle and DC Museums
Although not all of these museums or special sights are in the Dupont Circle area they are easily accessible by the Metro or cab. My husband and I often will walk to them, too, on a nice day. A listing is provided below for your easy access. We take visiting guests to many of the sights listed below. This is not a complete list but certainly a comprehensive overview.
In or Easily Accessible to Dupont Circle
- Arlington National Cemetary (free)
Hours: 7 Days a week: 365 days
8am - 7pm (April - September)
8am - 5pm (October - March)
More than four million people visit Arlington National Cemetery annually, many coming to pay final respects at graveside services, of which nearly 100 are conducted each week, Monday through Saturday. Make sure to see the changing of the guard and the tomb of the unknowns while paying your respect to our fallen heroes.
- National Museum of American Jewish Military (Dupont Circle) (Free)
1811 R Street NW
Washington, D.C 20009
"The National Museum of American Jewish Military History, under the auspices of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, documents and preserves the contributions of Jewish Americans to the peace and freedom of the United States, educates the public concerning the courage, heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces, and works to combat anti-Semitism." The National Museum of American Jewish Military is part of the Dupont Kalorama Museums Consortium.
Anderson House-Photo Taken July 25, 2012
- The Anderson House/The Society of the Cincinnati (Dupont North) (Free)
The Anderson House or The Society of the Cincinnati Official Webssite
2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
"The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence and to foster fellowship among its members. Now a nonprofit educational organization devoted to the principles and ideals of its founders, the modern Society maintains its headquarters, library, and museum at Anderson House in Washington, D.C." is part of the Dupont Kalorama Museums Consortium.
Dumbarton Oaks Mansion (left) and Dumbarton Oaks Fountain Terrace (right)
- Dumbarton Oaks (Georgetown-walking distance) (Free, however, must pay to see gardens)
Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection Official Website
2715 Q NW St
Washington, DC 20007
"The Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection is one of the finest collections of artifacts from the Byzantine Empire. Spanning the imperial, ecclesiastical, and secular realms, the collection comprises more than twelve hundred objects from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries. Among the most important objects are treasures of gold, silver, and bronze vessels used for the celebration of the Eucharist. Other outstanding objects are late Roman and Byzantine jewelry, cloisonné enamels, glass and glyptics, ivory icons, and illuminated manuscripts. The collection's emphasis on objects of precious materials underscores the conception of Byzantine art as luxury art. Nevertheless, many of these objects-plates, boxes, belts, lamps, and even jewelry-had a practical function in Byzantine life. ..."
- The Dumbarton House (Georgetown)
Tues-Sun, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
last entry is 2:45 PM)
"The mission of the Dumbarton House museum, a Federal period historic house museum, is to preserve the historic structure and its collections and to educate the public about life in Washington, D.C., during the early years of the Republic. Emphasis is placed on Joseph Nourse, first Register of the Treasury, and his family, and their occupation of the property from 1804 through 1813." The Dumbarton House is part of the Dupont Kalorama Museums Consortium.
- Folger Shakespeare Library/Theatre (Capital Hill) (Free Tours)
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Pubic Hours: 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday; 12:00PM-5:00 PM Sun.
Reading Room: 8:45 AM-4:45 PM Monday through Friday; 9:00 AM-Noon 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Saturday.
Home to the world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of researchers, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater-and concert-goers.
- Fonda Del Sol (Dupont Circle) (Free)
2112 R Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Hours: W/TR/F/Sat 1:00 PM-6:00 PM
"Fonda Del Sol is part of the Dupont Kalorama Museums Consortium, which promotes the 'off the mall' museums and their neighborhoods. ..."
- Ford's Theatre (Free tours first-come basis)
Note: Always check ahead. Also, for a nominal fee advance tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and are guaranteed. Availability of tours varies with theatre performances and rehearsals, etc.
511 Tenth St, NW
Ford's Theatre celebrates the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and explores the American experience through theatre and education. A working theatre, historical monument, world-class museum and learning center, Ford's Theatre is the premier destination in Washington, D.C., to explore and celebrate Lincoln's ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.
Since acquiring the house (now 516 10th Street) in 1933, the National Park Service has maintained it as a historic house museum, recreating the scene at the time of Lincoln's death. Here, visitors can learn more about that fateful night and the people who surrounded the President in his final hours.
- Heurich House Museum (Dupont Circle) ($5.00 per person)
Christian Heurich and Heurich House Museum
1307 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
"Washington, D.C. hidden gem, the Heurich House Museum is one of the most intact Victorian houses in the country, and a Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1892-4 of poured concrete and reinforced steel by German immigrant, local brewer, and philanthropist Christian Heurich (Hi-Rick), it is also the city's first fireproof home. Heurich was Washington's second largest landowner and the largest private employer in the nation's capital. As the world's oldest brewer, he ran the Christian Heurich Brewing Company until his death at 102. A visit to the 'Brewmaster’s Castle' is a visit back in time to the late-19th century, when the Heurich family was in residence in Washington's premiere residential neighborhood, Dupont Circle."
Washington, DC 20036
Hours: Thursday and Friday - 11:30 AM and 1:00PM
Saturdays - 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM, and -2:30 PM
$5.OO per person/guided tours
Castle Garden Open to the Public Weekdays 11:00AM-3:00PM
- The National Geographic (Dupont Circle)(Pay)
17th and M Streets NW
"Enjoy a wide variety of changing exhibitions that reflect the richness and diversity of our world at the National Geographic Museum. The Museum's exhibitions and the scientific fieldwork and expeditions on which they are based are supported by National Geographic's Mission Programs, which receives generous funding by corporations, foundations, and individuals." The National Geographic is part of the Dupont Kalorama Consortium.
- The Octagon House and Museum (Nominal Fee)
1799 New York Ave., NW
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
"When the British burned the White House, President and Mrs. Madison moved into one of the most beautiful homes in Washington, D.C. A short block from the White House stands the Octagon, a National Historic treasure. One of the first great homes built in the new nation's capital, the Octagon is a landmark of America's architectural, political, and cultural history. Completed in 1801 for the eminent Tayloe family and designed by William Thornton, the original architect of the U.S. Capitol, the Octagon is one of the most significant and elegant buildings to remain standing from the early federal city. It was in the upstairs parlor that President Madison signed the Treaty of Ghent on February 17, 1815 establishing peace with Great Britain. In 1899, The American Institute of Architects chose the severely deteriorated building as its new national headquarters, initiating a series of state-of-the-art restorations."
- The Phillips Collection(Dupont North) (Pay)
The Phillips Gallery Collection
Closed on Mondays
1600 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
The Phillips Collection is an art museum founded by Duncan Phillips in 1921 as the Phillips Memorial Gallery located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Phillips was the grandson of James H. Laughlin, a banker and co-founder of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company. Among the artists represented in the collection are Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Courbet, El Greco, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Klee, Arthur Dove, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, Jacob Lawrence, Augustus Vincent Tack, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Mark Rothko. It is part of the Dupont Kalorama Consortium.
The Scottish Rite Temple
Scottish Rite Temple, Washington, DC
1733 16th St., NW, between R and S Sts.
Tours are offered on weekdays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Appointments must be made to peruse the library's collections.
For further information, please call 202/232-3579. Metro stop: Dupont Circle.
One of the most unusual buildings in the eclectic Sixteenth Street Historic District is the Temple of the Scottish Rite at 1733 16th Street. The building, designed by John Russell Pope who also designed the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial, was constructed between 1911 and 1915. It was built to headquarter the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry. An international fraternal order, the Masons have claimed a number of past Presidents, such as George Washington and Harry Truman, as members. Pope used the tomb of King Mausolus at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as his model for the Temple.
Textile Museum at old Kalorama location. It has now moved to the main campus of George Washington University on 21st Street. Please read below:
The Textile Museum has joined with The George Washington University, a leading university in Washington, D.C., to become the cornerstone of a new museum. It is now on GW's main campus in Foggy Bottom. The affiliation positions The Textile Museum to educate the next generation and expand on its rich tradition of art, education, scholarship and cultural understanding.
New Address of the Textile Museum
The George Washington University Museum
The Textile Museum
701 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
Note: The Textile Museum and The George Washington University
- The Textile Museum is no longer located in Kalorama. (Pay)
The old address:
The Textile Museum
2320 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
"The Textile Museum expands public knowledge and appreciation-locally, nationally, and internationally-of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world's textiles.
In 1925 George Hewitt Myers founded The Textile Museum with a collection of 275 rugs and 60 related textiles. Myers collected actively for the Museum until his death in 1957, at which time the collection had grown to encompass the textile arts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Myers' time, the Museum was open by appointment only and received several hundred visitors annually. Today, The Textile Museum is one of the world's foremost specialized art museums and receives 25,000 to 35,000 visitors each year from around the world.
It should be noted that there is some discussion underway that the Textile Museum many be moving to another location. Nothing definitive as of this writing. The mission of the Textile Museum is "...expands public knowledge and appreciation-locally, nationally, and internationally-of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world's textiles. ..." The Textile Museum is part of the Dupont Kalorama Consortium."
Contact the Textile Museum at George Washington University to see if this information still applies. Family First Saturdays at the Textile Museum-The first Saturday of every month: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
Drop in and explore The Textile Museum with your family during this new afternoon program, held the first Saturday of every month. Each session focuses on different objects and activities. Participants enjoy hands-on projects, visits with local artists, performances, and much more. An interactive docent-led tour will take place at 3:00 pm during each Family First Saturday. FREE; no reservations required.
- Washington Studio School (Kalorama)
Washington Studio School
2129 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 234-3030
"Washington Studio School (WSS) is a community of artists and students dedicated to the practice of visual arts with conscious awareness of both historical traditions and contemporary experience. Our exceptional faculty, all practicing artists, teach high school and adult students the art of observation. Working from life, students at all levels learn the skills and visual language necessary to translate their observation into a personal vision." The School is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to building a vibrant community of artists and art instruction for adults and high-school teens.
Woodrow Wilson House
- Woodrow Wilson House (Located in Kalorama walking distance from Dupont Circle) (Pay)
2340 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
"In 1921, after leading the nation through the first World War, President Woodrow Wilson moved to this elegant Washington home. This dignified townhouse in the capital's Embassy Row neighborhood was a quiet haven for the Wilsons. Noted as Washington's only presidential museum, the Wilsons' home presents a fascinating glimpse into the life of an educator, scholar and world statesman. The Woodrow Wilson House is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. ..." The Woodrow Wilson House is part of the Dupont Kalorama Consortium.
- Corcoran (Pay)
Corcoran Gallery might Relocate After 115 Years
510 17th, St. NW
"The Corcoran Gallery of Art is the largest privately supported cultural institution in Washington, DC. The museum's main focus is American art. The permanent collection includes works by Rembrandt, Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Thomas Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Gene Davis, and many others. There are always several exhibitions on display, regularly featuring contemporary work on the second floor with modern and early American work on the first floor. The Corcoran is the oldest and largest non-federal art museum in the District of Columbia. Its mission is to be 'dedicated to art and used solely for the purpose of encouraging the American genius. ..."
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Tickets/Cost)
- Marian Koshland Science Museum (Pay)
525 E Street, NW
- Mary McLeod Bethune Council House (Free)
1318 Vermont Avenue NW
Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The last tour starts at 4 p.m.
"Mary McLeod Bethune achieved her greatest recognition at the Washington, DC townhouse that is now this National Historic Site. The Council House was the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and was Bethune's last home in Washington, DC. From here, Bethune and the NCNW spearheaded strategies and developed programs that advanced the interests of African American women."
- Meridian International Center
1630 Crescent Place, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Meridian is "Global leadership through the exchange of ideas, people and culture." A non-profit organization that is part of the Dupont Kalorama Consortium.
- National Spy Museum (Pay)
800 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
- Newseum (Pay)
555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
- National Museum of Health and Medicine (Free)
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20306
"The National Museum of Health and Medicine was established during the Civil War as the Army Medical Museum, a center for the collection of specimens for research in military medicine and surgery. In 1862, Surgeon General William Hammond directed medical officers in the field to collect 'specimens of morbid anatomy together with projectiles and foreign bodies removed' and to forward them to the newly founded museum for study. The Museum's first curator, John Brinton, visited mid-Atlantic battlefields and solicited contributions from doctors throughout the Union Army. During and after the war, Museum staff took pictures of wounded soldiers showing effects of gunshot wounds as well as results of amputations and other surgical procedures. ..."
- U.S. Navy Museum (Free)
805 Kidder Breese St., SE
Washington, DC 20374
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was created in 2003 by an Act of Congress, establishing it as part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Board of Regents, the governing body of the Institution, voted in January 2006 to build the museum on a five-acre site on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th streets N.W. This site is between the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The new museum, the Smithsonian's 19th, will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. It is expected to open in 2015.
- Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave. SW
The collection includes ancient as well as contemporary works from Africa. There are special events, storytelling, demonstrations and children's programs.
- Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian
NMAI on the National Mall
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20560
"The National Museum of the American Indian houses one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of its kind. The museum's sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America."
- Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
900 Jefferson Drive, SW
900 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC. This historic building was the original home of the National Museum. It is currently closed for renovations.
The Arts and Industries Building has a special role among Smithsonian buildings. It is the original home of the National Museum and opened in 1881 in time for the inaugural ball of President James A. Garfield. See the online exhibition Baird's Dream: History of the Arts and Industries Building. Highlights A working carousel is located on the Mall outside of the building.
- Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20560
7th and Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC. This impressive museum displays the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world as well as smaller items like instruments, memorabilia, and clothing. Learn about the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight. There are IMAX films and planetarium shows several times a day. In 2003, the Smithsonian National Air &
- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Space Museum opened a second location.
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, Virginia 20151 near Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
- Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle)
000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC.
Home to the Smithsonian Information Center and the permanent exhibition Smithsonian Institution: America's Treasure Chest, as well as the Institution's administrative
headquarters. (Highlights Video orientation, a scale model of the federal city, and brochures in several languages, Castle Café, and free public Wi-Fi)
- Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Gallies
1050 Independence Ave. SW
The art museum features a world-renowned collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East. Paintings, ceramics, manuscripts, and sculptures are among the favorites of this museum. The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium provides free programs relating to the collections of the Freer and Sackler galleries, including performances of Asian music and dance, films, lectures, chamber music, and dramatic presentations.
- Smithsonian Sackler and Freer Galleries
1050 Independence Ave. SW
This unique building is connected underground to the Freer Gallery of Art. The Sackler collection includes Chinese bronzes, jades, paintings and lacquerware, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware, and sculpture from Asia.
The galleries are located on the National Mall, the grassy area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, steps from the Smithsonian Metro stop. The Sackler Gallery is located at 1050 Independence Avenue, SW. The Freer Gallery of Art is located at Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW. The two museums are connected by an underground exhibition space. Handicap accessible entrance to the Freer Gallery is located on Independence Avenue at 12th Street, SW.
- Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Ave. and 7th St. SW
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was a gift to the nation from financier and avid collector of modern art, Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981). Hirshhorn began collecting in 1917 with the purchase of two Albrecht Dürer etchings, and art became his lifelong passion. Smithsonian Institution Archives/More Information
- Smithsonian Natural History Museum
10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian building constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities.
Not Located on the National Mall
- Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place SE, Washington, DC.
The mission of the Anacostia Community Museum is to challenge perceptions, broaden perspectives, generate new knowledge, and deepen understanding about the ever-changing concepts and realities of 'community' while maintaining its strong ties to Anacostia and the D.C. Metropolitan region. Founded on September 15, 1967Exhibits rotate and feature regional and national topics.
- Smithsonian National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC.
The museum displays the largest stamp collection in the world and examines the development of the postal system using interactive displays. This museum is located under Washington's old Main Post Office near Union Station.
- Smithsonian Renwick Gallery
70 9th St. NW, Washington, DC.
The Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, features one of the finest collections of American craft in the United States. Its collections, exhibition program and publications highlight the best craft objects and decorative arts from the 19th century to the present. One-of-a-kind pieces created from clay, fiber, glass, metal, and wood from American Art's permanent collection of contemporary craft are displayed on a rotating basis in the second-floor galleries. The building was the original site of the Corcoran Gallery and is furnished with American crafts and contemporary arts from the 19th to 21st centuries. The museum features unique works of art in an impressive setting across the street from the White House.
- National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets NW., Washington, DC.
This restored historic building in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of downtown Washington, DC, houses two museums in one building. The National Portrait Gallery presents six permanent exhibitions of nearly 20,000 works ranges from paintings and sculpture to photographs and drawings. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home of the largest collection of American art in the world including more than 41,000 artworks, spanning more than three centuries.
- National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
The National Zoo is a part of the Smithsonian Institution with more than 435 different species of animals. The Zoo's Conservation and Research Center, "The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which launched on January 25, 2010, serves as an umbrella for the Smithsonian's global effort to conserve species and train future generations of conservationists. The SCBI is headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia, at the facility previously known as the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center. The SCBI facilitates and promotes research programs based at Front Royal, at the National Zoo in Washington, and at field-research and training sites around the world. Its efforts support one of the four main goals of the Smithsonian's new strategic plan, which advances 'understanding and sustaining a biodiverse planet.'"
For More Information:
Dupont Circle Art Galleries
Children's Corner in Washington, DC