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Octagon House
Octagon House

Octagon House Tours and Tickets

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Free admission

One of the first homes ever built in the nation’s capital, the historic Federal-style Octagon House was designed in 1799 by William Thornton for wealthy Virginia landowner Colonel John Tayloe III. During the War of 1812, Tayloe volunteered the house as a French embassy in order to save it from destruction, and two years later, when the White House was set ablaze by the British, he offered it to President James Madison as a temporary executive mansion. Madison used a second-floor room of the house as his study, and it was here that he signed the 1815 peace treaty that ended the war with England.

Madison and his wife, Dolley, moved back into the White House in 1817, and Tayloe and his family lived on at Octagon House until 1855. Later used as a Union hospital in the Civil War, the building had fallen into decay by 1899, when the American Institute of Architects purchased it for use as its headquarters. Established as a museum in 1970 and featuring historical photos of, memorabilia from, and plans for famous American buildings, it’s now open just two days a week for self-guided tours.

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Self-guided tours Thurs–Fri 1–4pm
1799 New York Ave NW, Washington DC, 20006
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Residences of the Presidentses Walking Tour: Lafayette Square & Foggy Bottom

Residences of the Presidentses Walking Tour: Lafayette Square & Foggy Bottom

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DC is the city of presidents, and this is the tour that gives you the most POTUS for your buck. People want to be close to power. And from the time D.C. was founded, that meant being close to the White House. You'll check out Lafayette Square and the neighborhood of Foggy Bottom. You'll explore the homes and buildings where presidents lived, worked, partied, plotted and worshipped -- before, during and after their time in office. You'll see some of DC's oldest buildings and enjoy one of the most famous public spaces in the world. And don't forget the stories. Our guide will tell you about the building of the city -- and the British attempt in 1814 to unbuild it. There's a Real Housewives scandals, a Pennsylvania Avenue shootout, slaves fighting for freedom and lots more.
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  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$22.00
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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Octagon House hours of operation?
A:
Octagon House hours of operation: Self-guided tours Thurs–Fri 1–4pm. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Octagon House tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Octagon House can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Octagon House 2021?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Octagon House costs USD 22.00. Guided Octagon House tours start around USD 22.00 per person.
Q:
What''s the best way to experience Octagon House?