Octagon Museum, Washington DC

4.3
Completed in 1801 for John Tayloe III of Mount Airy, VA and his wife Ann Ogle Tayloe, 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. The Octagon served as the temporary White House for the Madisons after the British burned Washington in 1814 during the War of 1812.

After the Tayloe family moved out in 1855, the house served as a girls' school, the offices of the US Hydrographic Office, an a tenement apartment building. Finally, in 1898, the American Institute of Architects selected the building to be their national headquarters, and they continued to use the building as such until 1970.

Today, the Octagon is operated as a museum by the AIA Foundation, and features guided and self-guided tours, changing exhibitions, and public programing.
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Octagon Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
31 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Yes an octagon has 8 sides; you’re forgetting the basement floor and roof are sides too! It was cool to walk through where a former president lived. The period pieces complement the decor nicely as do...  more »
  • It was a temporary White House for James and Dolly Madison. The Treaty of Ghent was signed here. Open Thursday-Saterday from 1-4 pm.  more »
Google
  • This out-of-the-way gem is worth hunting down! I won’t ruin the interesting history of the place; you should go find out for yourself. It is FREE and very kid friendly - not one of those historical homes where every room is roped off. You can touch, sit on, open, and explore pretty much everything. Don’t miss it!
  • You can’t get inside White House but you could there. Interesting place. No cover. Not people inside. You can take enough pics. Nice architecture.
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