Octagon Museum

Description And Comments

Another small, yet intriguing museum – the Octagon Museum – is found at the intersection of 18th Street and New York Ave NW. Open for relatively short amounts of time (Thursday through Saturday from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm) the free museum examines design and architecture. The building is part of the display, as is its long history. Built in 1801, the residence known as the Octagon (although it’s really more of a hexagon, but who’s counting) was the home of a wealthy Virginia family. It was such a magnificent house that President Madison lived in it for 6 months after the British burned the White House in 1814. In fact, the treaty that ended the War of 1812 was signed in the Octagon. Following its abandonment by its initial family, it was many things including a Catholic girls school, federal offices, and a tenement house for the poor. Eventually it became the headquarters for the American Institute of Architects where it has been restored to its early 19th century appearance.


1799 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom
Farragut West

Thu-Sat 1pm-4pm


Attraction Photos