All Tours: 60

Historic Downtown and Chinatown

46 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This tour explores the diverse collection of buildings, memorials, and monuments located in Washington’s historic commercial core. Downtown Washington is a large area stretching west from Judiciary Square to Farragut Square and Foggy Bottom, and…

Mid-Century Modernism in Southwest

7 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Southwest is full of mid-century modernist architectural gems. These include Arena Stage, River Park, and I.M. Pei's Town Center East. However, the neighborhood also gained notoriety as an early site of urban renewal. Follow along to learn…

Capitol Hill Historic District & Emerald Street Historic District

23 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
With 8,000 contributing buildings, the Capitol Hill Historic District is the largest of DC's historic districts. In fact, it includes 2x as many historic properties as the next largest historic district, Georgetown. The historic district —…

African American Schools

10 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Explore the evolution of African American education and school architecture in Washington by visiting ten schoolhouses. The tour begins with schools constructed after emancipation and concludes with a school that is nationally significant for its…

U Street & Shaw: Before and Since 1968

11 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
On April 4, 1968, the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination shocked African American communities across the United States. In Washington, DC, shock and sadness were accompanied by anger, as a large gathering of community members…

Early and Industrial Georgetown

8 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The port of Georgetown was founded in 1751. Established 40 years prior to the decision to make Washington, DC the nation's capital, Georgetown is the city's oldest neighborhood. Throughout much of its history, Georgetown was a mixed-use…

The Campaign Against Covenants in Bloomingdale

14 Locations ~ Curated by Prologue DC, LLC
This tour features key sites in the history of black homeseekers’ efforts to rent or buy whites-only housing. Discover why Bloomingdale’s premier architectural corridor was also a racial barrier, and how civil rights attorneys chipped away at this…

African American Civil Rights

109 Locations ~ Curated by DC Historic Preservation Office
The 20th Century Civil Rights Tour consists of historic sites in the District of Columbia that tell the stories of individuals, groups, and institutions associated with the struggle for African American civil rights. As the nation’s capital,…

Saint Elizabeths Hospital

14 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The campus of Saint Elizabeths Hospital is sited pleasantly atop a wooded ridge in the Anacostia Hills. It is a National Historic Landmark whose story and impact on mental health treatment in the United States can be read in the historic buildings…

Women in History DowntownDC Callbox Tour

8 Locations ~ Curated by DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID)
When the DowntownDC BID announced the callbox design competition in 2017, the Charles Bergen team saw an opportunity to right a historic wrong: the exclusion of women from outdoor public art. Although female figures abound in Washington, almost all…

Riding the 70s? (From Silver Spring to Archives/L'Enfant Plaza)

50 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Metrobus routes 70 and 79 travel along Georgia Avenue and 7th Street through some of DC’s oldest and most significant neighborhoods, as this north-south thoroughfare has long connected Downtown Washington to the city's northwest neighborhoods…

Riding the S2/S9? (From Piney Branch to Lafayette Square)

40 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The 16th Street NW corridor is one of the most important thoroughfares in the nation’s capital, stretching from Lafayette Square and the White House (at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) to Silver Spring, Maryland. The S2 and S9 Metrobus routes traverse…

Riding the X2? (From Minnesota Avenue to Lafayette Square)

30 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The X2 Metrobus route is one of the oldest bus routes in DC, as it follows the original streetcar line known as Route 10. Established in 1871, Route 10 was first run with horse trolleys, then electric cars. In 1949, the streetcar line — like others…

Riding the 32/36? (From Southern Avenue/Naylor Road to Foggy Bottom)

66 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The 30s bus lines traverse many major thoroughfares in the city, including Pennsylvania Avenue. The 32 and 36 are responsible for transporting passengers from Southern Avenue (32) and Naylor Road (36) toward Foggy Bottom, but also make up a rather…

DC Firehouses

18 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
DC Firehouses not only reflect the geographic expansion of the capital, but also the city as a place of diverse and vibrant communities. A boom in the construction of municipal buildings took place during the latter half of the nineteenth century…

Gone, But Not Forgotten

19 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
DC is a city with many layers of history, as illustrated by the built environment's many architectural styles. As the city grew and changed, so did its buildings, many of which were altered or simply demolished. Sometimes architectural tastes…

Preserving Chocolate City

7 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
In 1964, the National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts established the Joint Committee on Landmarks (JCL). Tasked with creating the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, the JCL identified and documented over two hundred historic…

Latinx Heritage Tour

11 Locations ~ Curated by Shae Corey and Zachary Burt (DC Preservation League), and Patrick Scallen
Urban buildings live many different lives—rented space is chameleon-like, changing color to match its surroundings and fill external needs. New communities create spaces that reflect their cultural heritage, religious values and personal desires. The…

National Historic Landmarks: Lafayette Square & 16th Street

13 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
16th Street NW passes near many of Washington, D.C.’s National Historic Landmarks (NHLs). This tour encompasses the route of presidents, protestors, diplomats, and local Washingtonians, as it stretches from Lafayette Square and the White House at…

National Historic Landmarks: Sheridan-Kalorama & Dupont Circle

8 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Have you ever wondered about the residents of the beautiful homes in Sheridan-Kalorama and Dupont Circle? In this tour of Washington, D.C.’s National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), you can learn about Andrew W. Mellon’s apartment building, famed…

National Historic Landmarks: African American History

11 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Recognized for years as “Chocolate City,” and standing as the first major city in America to hold a majority Black population, the District of Columbia contains a wealth of African American history and culture. From its early days as a slave-trading…

National Historic Landmarks: Capitol Hill

8 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Capitol Hill is well-known as the neighborhood of Speakers of the House, United States Senators, and Supreme Court Justices. Its long and varied history has contributed to its designation as a historic district, and has enabled numerous properties to…

National Historic Landmarks: Historic Downtown Washington

14 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Downtown Washington is a hub of activity—and has been since the establishment of D.C. as the nation’s capital city in 1800. This neighborhood has provided the geographic link between the executive branch, the White House, and the legislative branch,…

Capital City Slavery

25 Locations ~ Curated by Shae Corey, DC Preservation League [edited by Zachary Burt]
Data recorded in 2020 determined that only 2% of 95,000 designated sites on the National Register of Historic Places focused on the African American experience. This percentage reflects a critical gap in historic preservation: sustained neglect of…

2021 Landmarks in Review

10 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
2021 was another successful year for historic preservation in DC. In February, Colony Hill became the District’s 37th neighborhood historic district (with its own design guidelines), while in October, the long-standing Anacostia Historic District was…

District Schools & Universities

43 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Not only is Washington, DC, the national capital and the home of the federal government, but from its beginning the city has also been a center of public and private education. Today, residents and visitors alike can visit several university…

DC's Landmark Libraries

7 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This tour covers Washington's libraries that have been historically-designated over the years. Some of the libraries on this tour are internationally-recognized places of research, such as the Library of Congress and Folger Shakespeare Library,…

Postwar Modernism in Washington DC

13 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Despite being a city of memorials, museums, and government buildings designed in grand and traditional architectural styles that speak to our nation's history and democracy, Washington, DC has plenty of modern architecture. Visitors may notice…

District Theaters

14 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The Star Theater, opened in 1906, constituted the first motion picture theater in Washington, DC. Audiences fell in love with similar small neighborhood theaters in the following years; between 1909 and 1914, the number of movie theaters in the…

Historically Designated Interiors

20 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Historic preservation is almost always focused on the protection of a building or a structure's exterior. Because of this flexibility, residents of historic districts freely remodel the interiors of their homes while external facades are saved…

Women's Suffrage in Washington D.C.

13 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
As the nation’s capital, the District has long been an epicenter of political activism and cultural progression. For the women’s suffrage movement, D.C. quickly became a central arena for collaborative meetings, government lobbying, and public…

Looking Back at the Joint Committee on Landmarks: A Selection of Sites

15 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
In 1978, the DC Council passed the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act. This law established the current process of design review and historic designation, with landmarks and districts designated by the Historic Preservation Review…

Food and Drink in the District

17 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Since the founding of the District, food and drink have almost been as important as politics. Two examples: Rhodes Tavern, which is no longer standing, is associated with the early days of the City of Washington, its governance, and politics; City…

Historic Landmarks on the 2022 Most Endangered Places List

11 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
The 2022 Most Endangered Places list (and Watch List) includes a total of 24 properties. Some may be surprised to learn that many of these threatened properties are designated historic landmarks. This illustrates the important point that designation…

D.C. Apartment Buildings

20 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
In Washington, D.C., significant historical events such as the Civil War and the Panic of 1873 limited major construction and growth within the city. However, following the Civil War, and then again during the interwar period between the world wars,…

DCPL-Sponsored Landmarks and Historic Districts

139 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
As Washington, DC’s citywide historic preservation nonprofit, DCPL has nominated a variety of historic landmarks and districts over the past five-decades in an effort to preserve, protect, and enhance the historic and built environment of the city.…

Commemorative Monuments and Memorials of DC

17 Locations ~ Curated by Fontana Micucci and Zachary Burt, DC Preservation League
They may look serious and silent, but the many commemorative memorials and monuments throughout DC have vibrant stories to tell. As time goes on, they stand resolute and watch as residents and visitors to the nation’s capital pass by them with a…

Abstract Sculptures of DC

19 Locations ~ Curated by Fontana Micucci and Zachary Burt, DC Preservation League
Each year, Washington, DC, hosts millions of visitors from around the world. These tourists, along with the District’s 700,000 residents, wander and explore the city’s numerous streets, parks, and other public spaces. With so many people out and…

2022 Landmarks in Review

11 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
In 2022, 10 new landmarks and one new historic district were designated in DC. Of these 11 new designations, six were sponsored or co-sponsored by DCPL! In February, the Buzzard Point Power Plant in Southwest, which was nominated by DCPL in 2016, was…

Exploring DC's Go-Go and Punk Music Scenes

15 Locations ~ Curated by Fontana Micucci and Zachary Burt, DC Preservation League
Despite not being a major music hub like Los Angeles or New York City, DC’s music scene has created its own styles, trends, and sounds for decades. Famous musicians and bands alike have found a home in DC, blending multiple genres on one track.…

DC's Landmarks of Transportation

17 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
From the beginning, DC has been shaped by new technologies and advancements in transportation. Early on, the District — specifically, Georgetown — was the starting point for the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal, an important linkage to the Ohio River…

Riding the 96? (From Capitol Heights to Tenleytown)

41 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Stretching across the District from Capitol Heights to Tenleytown, the 96 Metrobus route provides public transit to Washingtonians throughout numerous neighborhoods, as it travels several miles along major commercial thoroughfares past many historic…

Finding Style in DC: Navigating DC’s Shopping Scene

17 Locations ~ Curated by Fontana Micucci, DC Preservation League
Nowadays, it is surprising when a common product isn’t available on the store shelf. Most grocery stores, supermarkets, and big box stores have a wide variety of offerings in a multitude of options – a level of convenience that the modern consumer…

Sacred Spaces in DC

61 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This tour provides a comprehensive list of historically-designated religious properties in the District. These sacred spaces – including churches, meeting houses, synagogues, temples, seminaries, and cathedrals – are significant for their history,…

Riding the L2? (From Chevy Chase Circle to Farragut Square)

47 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Ambling up and down one of DC’s leading thoroughfares, the L2 Metrobus’s path along Connecticut Avenue covers major ground in the northwest section of the city. In the years following World War I, Connecticut Avenue developed into a major residential…

DC's LGBTQ+ History

12 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
When the Founding Fathers established Washington, DC, as a federal territory in 1790, the fledgling government criminalized homosexuality as the British had. A desire for uniformity and a “normalcy” defined by American officials resulted in numerous…

Finding Asian American History in Washington, DC

18 Locations ~ Curated by the 1882 Foundation in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the University of Maryland Historic Preservation Program
These highlighted sites are among those researched for DC’s first Asian American Historical Context Statement, a project produced by the 1882 Foundation for the DC Historic Preservation Office and the DC Preservation League through funding from the…

Mid-Century Neighborhoods Tour

9 Locations ~ Curated by The DC Historic Sites Team
Washington, DC's suburban neighborhoods are largely defined by their early to mid-20th century detached dwellings reflecting a wide variety of Revival-style buildings from the popular Colonial Revival styles to more picturesque Tudor and…

Public Art Tour

13 Locations ~ Curated by Deirdre Darden, DC Commission for the Arts & Humanities
"Simply put public art is art in public spaces. The term 'public art' may conjure images of historic bronze statues of a soldier on horseback in a park. Today, public art can take a wide range of forms, sizes, and scales—and can be…

DC Architects To Know Series: Part One

28 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This interactive map shows the buildings designed by the five architects featured in Part One of the DC Architects To Know Series, which can be found on the DC Preservation League website. These buildings are historically-designated and are on the DC…

DC Architects To Know Series: Part Two

37 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This interactive map shows the buildings designed by the five architects featured in Part Two of the DC Architects To Know Series, which can be found on the DC Preservation League website. These buildings are historically-designated and are on the DC…

DC Architects To Know Series: Part Three

30 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
This interactive map shows the buildings designed by the five architects featured in Part Three of the DC Architects To Know Series, which can be found on the DC Preservation League website. These buildings are historically-designated and are on the…

Daring Geometric Design: Art Deco in Washington, D.C.

32 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Art Deco, a term coined in the 1960s, describes a type of architecture that was popular from the mid-1920s until the late 1930s and early 1940s. When discussing Art Deco, many people think of famous landmarks like the Chrysler Building in New York…

Historic Banks and Financial Institutions of DC

22 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
Financial institutions played an important role in the history of Washington, DC. Banks, building and loan associations, trust companies, and securities all worked in tandem to establish a sound economy in DC. While DC is known as the home of the…

2023 Landmarks in Review

11 Locations ~ Curated by DC Preservation League
In 2023, six new landmarks and one new historic district were designated in Washington. The DC Preservation League nominated two of these landmarks: Chevy Chase Savings Bank and Northeast Savings Bank. In January, Chevy Chase Savings Bank,…

M Street High School: Where Trailblazers Thrived

22 Locations ~ Curated by Perry School Community Services Center
This tour explores the rich history of M Street High School, a historic landmark at 128 M Street NW, and how this leading school’s administration, faculty and students shaped DC. M Street High School, which operated between 1891 and 1916, before…

Lingering on the Palate: The Ghosts of the DC Food Scene

12 Locations ~ Curated by Isabelle Houseman and DC Preservation League
Foods that bring familiar comfort change from year to year and decade to decade as residents of the nation’s capital bear witness to the ebb-and-flow of culinary tastes. Lingering on the Palate is a tour that will take you through some of the iconic…