The Decatur House showcases architectural styles of the time with a mix of federal and Victorian influences. The museum’s collection includes furnishings from the early 1800s and impeccably kept records of the various characters who lived within the house’s walls, including the many enslaved individuals who lived in the building’s slave quarters—a rare remaining physical reminder that slaves were kept within sight of the White House.
Visit the Decatur House, along with other Washington DC monuments, independently via a hop-on hop-off trolley tour. Alternatively, experience the spookier side of the capital in a haunted house walking tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Decatur House is ideal for history and architecture buffs.
The museum is free to enter, but a donation is suggested.
The White House Historical Association leads free tours of Decatur House on Mondays. Check the website for up-to-date times.
Check the weather forecast and be prepared with appropriate clothing for heat or cold, and wear good walking shoes.
Parts of the house are accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Decatur House is located in NW Washington DC, one block north of the White House, on Lafayette Square. It can be reached by both the Farragut West (Orange and Blue lines) and Farragut North (Red Line) metro stations. Driving is not recommended, as parking is extremely limited in this area.
When to Go
Decatur House is open for tours year-round, though sometimes only on Mondays. Check the website for current opening hours and tour times. Washington DC can have extreme temperatures; aim for a springtime or autumn visit for comfortable weather and lovely foliage around the city.
The Little-Known Story of Charlotte Dupuy
Enslaved at Decatur House by then Secretary of State Henry Clay, Charlotte Dupuy sued for her freedom in 1829 in an unusual legal case. Her story, which is detailed in the museum’s collection, sheds light on the plight of American slaves in the 1800s.
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