“Penn Quarter” describes downtown’s Seventh Street corridor, where the 19th-century meets the 21st. Hip hotels, restaurants and loft apartments sprouted up amidst attractions like the International Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Shakespeare Theatre and National Building Museum. That most of these are housed in buildings constructed during the 1800s is what makes this walk an irresistible urban scavenger hunt to discover a bygone era–a time when Chinese, German and Italian immigrants lived and worked on and around Seventh Street. If you know where to look, you can find the old U.S. Patent Office where newcomer Emile Berliner filed applications for the first microphone and disk record ever invented, where Italian stone carvers once worshipped (and where their descendants still enjoy espresso after Sunday Mass), the ornate archway welcoming you to D.C.’s Chinatown, and the humble wooden synagogue that took an historic ride to avoid the wrecking ball.
Led by Carolyn