Pennsylvania Avenue has been host to inaugurations, protests and celebrations throughout our Nation's history. But the development of this grand boulevard, connecting the Capitol to the White House, is fraught with conflict and intrigue. Starting in the front yard of the White House in Lafayette Square, we'll discuss the history of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From construction to destruction, fire, flood, addition and renovation, you'll learn how this most famous address has changed throughout history. Taking a look at other buildings along Lafayette Square, we'll discuss the presidents, politicians, and power players of all kinds that have lived along this storied block. After exploring the White House neighborhood, we'll take a stroll down Pennsylvania Ave toward the Capitol Building. Past the hallowed halls and imposing facades of the Willard Hotel, Old Post Tower, FBI Headquarters, Canadian Embassy and more, we'll learn how downtown Washington went from Murder Bay to America’s Main Street.
I'm a former architect and life-long lover of all things brick and mortar. I left my drafting desk in 2015 and founded DC Design Tours, a tour company focusing on the architecture and design of Washington DC. I prefer to talk about buildings rather than draw them. I'm a graduate of the University of Maryland Architecture Program and hail from the exotic suburbs of New Jersey, though the District has been my home since 2006. When not guiding, you can find me counting columns at the National Building Museum (there are 152) and traipsing through Rock Creek National Park.
Our tour begins on the North side of the White House in Lafayette Square, at the General Rochambeau Statue. We'll explore the square before heading down 15th street and onto Pennsylvania Avenue proper. Then it's a straight shot down America's Main Street, passing the Willard Hotel, DC City Hall, Old Post Tower, FBI Headquarters, Department of Justice, and more. We'll finish up in clear view of the U.S. Capitol near the Embassy of Canada.
Presidential Neighborhood Walking Tour