Category Archives: Attractions

Volta Bureau remembers Alexander Graham Bell

It has been known as the Bell Carriage House, Bell Laboratory, Volta Bureau and Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory. No matter. The Volta Laboratory is a National Historic Landmark for helping the hearing impaired. Built in 1893 by Charles Summer Tainter … Continue reading

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The Warren Court

Sculptor Phillip Ratner once taught school in Washington for 23 years. Now he’s one of the nation’s more respected multimedia artists. Ratner has five sculptures at the Statue of Liberty, 40 at Ellis Island and others at the Smithsonian, Library … Continue reading

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George Washington’s whiskey is a little rye, uh dry

After beating the British and serving two terms as our president that included putting down the Whiskey Rebellion, George Washington retired to his home Mount Vernon — to make whiskey. In fact, Washington was the nation’s biggest whiskey maker the … Continue reading

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Sometimes attractions are in the bank

You can’t miss the gigantic vault door in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Washington Convention Center on 9th and F Sts. N.W. The one-time home of Riggs Bank was built in 1891. It was quite the place with vaulted … Continue reading

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DuPont Circle in the summertime

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Welcome to the Phillips Collection

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Cherry blossoms at Nationals Park

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National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is must see

It has probably been 40 years since I last saw the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and it wasn’t even completed then. A recent visit showed I’ve been away too long. The Shrine on the outer … Continue reading

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Society of the Cincinnati and Larz Anderson House

When first hearing the Society of the Cincinnati was not about the town but a Roman soldier, I thought how strange. Weren’t all Roman warriors named Spartacus or something like that? Well, it was something like that. The Society is … Continue reading

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Eastern Market offers history and halibut

At Eastern Market, your job’s not your credit. You gotta pay cash for the produce. Well, that’s funny if you’re a local because Eastern Motors runs a commercial nonstop. Otherwise, you’re thinking I’m nuts. Anyway, Eastern Market opened in 1873 … Continue reading

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Have a drink, kill a president

  Lincoln Assassination What did John Wilkes Booth do the hour before killing Abraham Lincoln? Why, have a drink. Hey, if you’re going to assassinate a president you might want to drink some courage first. Booth spent one hour nursing … Continue reading

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The Embassy Row Lady and the Curse

The Indonesian Embassy was once the home of Evalyn Walsh McLean, whose Irish immigrant father hit it rich as a gold miner. This 3 1/2-story brick mansion trimmed with three bands of limestone and a red tile roof was the … Continue reading

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The Awakening now entertains tourists

For 31 years, a 70-foot statue has been trying to get up in the morning. Guess I’m not so slow after all. The Awakening is a 70-foot statue of a man trying to get up from the earth. There are … Continue reading

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Stephen DeCatur House remains special

Stephen DeCatur must have been one cool cat, if not an unlucky one. After fighting in the War of 1812 and later facing pirates off the Barbary Coast, DeCatur used the “prize money” from Congress to build this three-story brick … Continue reading

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Remembering JFK at Holy Trinity church

Holy Trinity Church (3513 N. St. NW) was the city’s first Catholic church in 1792. In the early years, parishioners either rented space on the pews or brought their own chair. But don’t worry, today’s 10,000 parishioners have ample room … Continue reading

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George Washington and Purple Heart

There’s a marker just a few yards left to the entrance into Mount Vernon that is often overlooked but a pretty cool remembrance of history. George Washington wasn’t allowed by the Continental Congress to promote Revolutionary War soldiers based on … Continue reading

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St. John’s – “Church of the Presidents”

Every president since James Madison has attended the “Church of the Presidents” just a short walk (if they could do so nowadays) from the White House at 15th and H Sts. N.W. Madison started the tradition of the “President’s Pew” … Continue reading

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A White House in Dublin?

            I’ve always heard the White House was modeled after the Leinster House in Dublin because Irish architect James Hoban used the Irish parliament as a model. Well, the truth is the White House looks … Continue reading

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My favorite places – Washington National Cathedral

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I like Ike, his building not so much

It’s not the prettiest building in Washington. Mark Twain called the Eisenhower Executive Office Building “the ugliest building in America” while former president Harry Truman called it “the greatest monstrosity in America.” The EEOB is a French Second Empire style … Continue reading

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