Washington, D.C. Journals

Lafayette Square: Beyond the White House

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A January 2008 trip to Washington, D.C. by kwasiak

Lafayette Square Photo, Washington, D.C., United States More Photos
Quote: Lafayette Square and the attractions around it besides the White House.

Lafayette Square: Beyond the White House

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Overview

Renwick Gallery Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Lafayette Square sits across the street from the front of the White House and was once part of the grounds of the White Hose. Over the past two centuries buildings have been built around the Square. Most people rush through or by the Square just to do their photo ops with the White House in the background, but you can spend at least one whole day visiting other attractions around the Square.The second building (the first was the White House) built on the Square was St. John's Episcopal Church, which is worth stepping inside of to enjoy stained glass and its history as the Church of the Presidents.The third building built on the Square was designed by Latrobe, who also designed th...Read More

Lafayette Square

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Attraction

Lafayette Square Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Lafayette Square is located in front of the White House on the opposite side of Pennsylvania Avenue. The park was originally meant to be part of the White House grounds, but became separated from what we now know at the grounds of the White House when Pennsylvania Avenue cut through the grounds in 1804 making the park separate from the White House grounds. Over the past two centuries this park has been used for many different things including a race track, a graveyard, a zoo, a slave market, site for protests and celebrations, and an encampment for soldiers during the War of 1812. The way it is seen today as a park dates to the landscaping and statues that were placed here in the 1930s.There...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2008

Lafayette Square
H Street between 15th and 17th Streets, NW
Washington, D.C.

Renwick Gallery National Museum of American Art

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Attraction | "Renwick Gallery"

Renwick Gallery National Museum of American Art Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
This is a pretty small art gallery that is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is located on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street and half a block West of the White House. While I do recommend seeing this Gallery when you are in the area of Lafayette Square, due to its small size it is not really worth making a special trip to this area if this is the only thing you plan to see, especially if there is not a special exhibit on display.The Renwick Gallery is named after the man that designed the building. The building was designed to be an art gallery, but it was originally the Corcoran Gallery. The original gallery has since moved to a larger building to house its bigger colle...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2008

Renwick Gallery National Museum of American Art
Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia

St. John's Church

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Attraction | "St. Johns Episcopal Church"

St. John's Church Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 1525 H. St NW right across the street from Lafayette Square. This Church is known as the Church of the Presidents. The Church was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who also designed the nearby Decatur House and White House’s porticos. When this was built it was only the second structure on Lafayette Square with the only other building being the White House. It held its first service in 1816. In 1822 the bell was placed in the steeple. This bell was cast by the Paul Revere’s son and weighs 1,000 pounds.Since it has been in existence every U.S. President has attended at least one service here. Some Presidents were regular attendees such as Jam...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 2, 2008

St. John's Church
1525 H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-8766

Decatur House Museum

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Attraction

Quote:
The Decatur House Museum is located right off of Lafayette Square, which is across the street from the White House. This house was originally built in 1818 and is one of the oldest surviving houses in D.C. It is also the first house that was built on the square making it the first "neighbor" to the White House. It was designed by Latrobe, who also designed nearby St. John's Episcopal Church and parts of the White House. The name for the house comes from the man who had it built, although he only lived in it for fourteen months. That man was Stephan Decatur, who was a Commodore in the Navy and was famous in his lifetime for his conquests in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.You can ta...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2008

Decatur House Museum
1610 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 842-0920