The Octagon and Its Foggy Bottom Neighbors

The Octagon's drawing room fireplace and wall art, AJJN Photography

Foggy Bottom is known for being the location of the U.S. State Department and George Washington University

But we invite you to discover an overlooked aspect of the historic neighborhood: a collection of early 19th-century mansions hiding in plain sight.  In the early 1800s wealthy, influential politicians and officials built substantial residences in Foggy Bottom, lending a fashionable character to the area located immediately west of the White House.  This walking tour will include stops at the

  • Maxwell Woodhull House, built in 1854, and home of the Textile Museum;
  • Lenthall Houses (1800) which survived a move from their original location;
  • Steedman-Ray House (1849), current residence of GWU’s president;
  • Ringgold-Carroll House, built in 1825, and known today as the DACOR-Bacon House, an organization for foreign affairs professionals.


One of the Oldest Private Residences in Washington, D.C.

The walk will conclude at one of the oldest, most historically important homes in Washington, the Octagon, erected in 1799.  Participants will receive a tour of both the exterior and interior of the building and hear about how the Architects Foundation, caretaker of the Octagon, hopes to bring the home to life in new ways through design exhibits and research about those who lived--and toiled--there.


With Amanda Ferrario, Manager, The Octagon. 

Over the past 11 years, Amanda Ferrario has worked in various museums where she has cultivated lasting partnerships and developed various inclusive programs and events. She has a BA in History from Coastal Carolina University, an MA in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and currently serves on the Board of the Prince George’s County Historical Society.  


Please bring a mask to wear during the portion of the tour that takes place inside The Octagon.


Be sure to also join us for the companion Virtual Experience, "All About The Octagon" on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Guides that may lead this tour: 

CAROLYN attributes her devotion to walking tours to perambulations through her new hometown when she arrived to earn an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America. She is the founder of Washington Walks.

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Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. - SOLD OUT

Approximately 2 hours
Reservations REQUIRED and limited to twelve (12) participants.
  • Complimentary tickets available to members at the Patron level. Join here.
  • $30 discounted tickets available to members at the Friend level beginning on December 23rd. Join here.
  • $50 tickets will be available to the general public beginning on January 3rd. Subject to availability.

Don't miss your chance to take this one-time-only walk. Become a member today!

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Meet in front of the George Washington University Museum (701 21st Street, NW)
Questions? Answers here.

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