The Octagon Museum

The Octagon Museum As the museum of the Architects Foundation, we educate on the value architects and architecture bring The Octagon will reopen to the public beginning May 19th!
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Completed in 1801 for John Tayloe III of Mount Airy, VA and his wife Ann Ogle Tayloe, and designed by William Thornton, the original architect of the U.S. Capitol, the Octagon is one of the most significant and elegant buildings to remain standing from the early federal city. The Octagon served as the temporary White House for the Madisons after the British burned Washington in 1814 during the War

of 1812. After the Tayloe family moved out in 1855, the house served as a girls' school, the offices of the US Hydrographic Office, an a tenement apartment building. Finally, in 1898, the American Institute of Architects selected the building to be their national headquarters, and they continued to use the building as such until 1970. Today, the Octagon is operated as a museum by the AIA Foundation, and features guided and self-guided tours, changing exhibitions, and public programing. The Museum will be open Thursday-Saturday from 11am-4pm. Museum admission is $10/adult, $5/children and teens under 18, and free for children under 5. Free guided tours will be offered at 11am and 3pm (roughly 45 mins) and are included with museum admission. Information on self-guided tours is available at our front desk. To purchase tickets in advance, please visit https://architectsfoundation.networkforgood.com/events/41116-visit-the-octagon

Happy World Architecture Day! 📐🏛️📚•The 2022 CODA Awards honored the creativity and craftsmanship of designers in South K...
10/02/2023

Happy World Architecture Day! 📐🏛️📚

The 2022 CODA Awards honored the creativity and craftsmanship of designers in South Korea, Canda, Taiwan, and The United States. Their work is on display in The Octagon until the end of this year, stop by to check it out!

The Octagon is open to visitors each Friday and Saturday from 11AM until 4PM. Get tickets in our bio through our linktr.ree https://buff.ly/45i74g5
🔗

Last chance for tickets to "An Evening with Artist Peter Waddell" on Thursday, September 21st at 6pm at The Octagon. Joi...
09/19/2023

Last chance for tickets to "An Evening with Artist Peter Waddell" on Thursday, September 21st at 6pm at The Octagon.

Join us for an evening of art, history, and commentary about early Washington, DC. Following the talk, enjoy light refreshments and lively conversation.

$15 for members/$25 for non members.

Get your ticket today! https://octagonmuseum.ticketspice.com/an-illustrated-talk-with-peter-waddell

Caption: Bird's Eye View of The Octagon, Oil Painting by Peter Waddell

08/11/2023

How does the saying go? "All work and no play..."

Earlier this summer, Heritage Documentation Programs, NPS summer interns had the opportunity to have some fun and toured the beautiful and historic The Octagon Museum, in Washington, DC. They learned about the history and architecture of this amazing historic house including how important historic preservation issues have been resolved.

Thanks for the great tour Amanda Ferrario!

LEARN MORE
The Octagon is represented in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Collection - the nation's largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation - in The Library of Congress. See the records at https://tinyurl.com/5b79ty8m


We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Sunday 1/15 through Thursday 2/23 for annual mainten...
01/16/2023

We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Sunday 1/15 through Thursday 2/23 for annual maintenance. You can still virtually tour the museum at the link below!
https://buff.ly/3GEGX8J

However, the museum will reopen Friday February 24th during our regular hours of 11-4pm.

For our final Fellows Friday, we are highlighting the architect Pascale Sablan, FAIA. She is the founder of Beyond the B...
01/13/2023

For our final Fellows Friday, we are highlighting the architect Pascale Sablan, FAIA. She is the founder of Beyond the Built Environment and creator of SAY IT LOUD!

Today and tomorrow, are the last days to see our exhibit in person- come visit for a tour of the museum and explore the exhibit!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

This Friday January 13th and Saturday January 14th are the last days to see our SAY IT LOUD exhibit in person! Come visi...
01/09/2023

This Friday January 13th and Saturday January 14th are the last days to see our SAY IT LOUD exhibit in person! Come visit The Octagon Museum for one of our tours and explore this incredible exhibit celebrating the 140 African-American architects who are Fellows of AIA.

You can pre-purchase tickets at the link below. Our guided tours are at 11am and 3pm.
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

As college students are heading back after the holidays, we wanted to highlight more of The AIA Fellows who have led maj...
01/06/2023

As college students are heading back after the holidays, we wanted to highlight more of The AIA Fellows who have led major projects designing buildings for colleges and universities.

To learn more about their designs, follow the link below or come visit our SAY IT LOUD exhibit. Only two weeks left to see it in-person!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

01/03/2023

In case you missed it over the holidays, check out the end of the year message from the 2021-2022 President of the Architects Foundation, R. Steven Lewis, FAIA!

For our last Fellows Friday of 2022, we are highlighting architects whose featured projects are hospitals and wellness c...
12/30/2022

For our last Fellows Friday of 2022, we are highlighting architects whose featured projects are hospitals and wellness centers. They have dedicated much of their careers to helping their communities through build and being leaders in the industry.

Come see our SAY IT LOUD exhibit next week to learn more about these and many other influential architects!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

The Octagon is our special place of inspiration, and we ask for your continued support by joining the Octagon Alliance o...
12/26/2022

The Octagon is our special place of inspiration, and we ask for your continued support by joining the Octagon Alliance or donating to The Octagon fund! Through your generosity, we are able to care for this historic building and host programs demonstrating the cultural and societal impact of architects and architecture, and the architect’s potential to create a just and equitable society.

Follow the link below to join or donate today!
https://buff.ly/3Wrs0NS

It's Fellows Friday, and we're highlighting some of the architects who have led significant housing projects to support ...
12/23/2022

It's Fellows Friday, and we're highlighting some of the architects who have led significant housing projects to support and benefit their communities. Come visit The Octagon in the new year to learn more about their work in our SAY IT LOUD exhibit!

https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

From The Octagon Museum, we wish everyone safe, healthy, and Happy Holidays! It has been a special year for us reopening...
12/23/2022

From The Octagon Museum, we wish everyone safe, healthy, and Happy Holidays! It has been a special year for us reopening after being closed during the pandemic. We are so grateful for all of the support from our visitors, members, and everyone this past year.

Remember, The Octagon Museum will reopen after the holidays on January 6th during our regular hours 11-4pm, and we are so excited to see you again then! You can purchase tickets at the link below.
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

Watercolor painting by Frederic S. Briggs

We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Friday 12/23 through Saturday 12/31 for the holidays...
12/19/2022

We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Friday 12/23 through Saturday 12/31 for the holidays. However, the museum will reopen for the new year on Friday January 6th during our regular hours of 11-4pm!

You can purchase tickets at the link below, the 11am and 3pm tour are included with admission!
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

It's Fellows Friday, and we're highlighting some of the architects who have lead the projects for libraries. Each of the...
12/16/2022

It's Fellows Friday, and we're highlighting some of the architects who have lead the projects for libraries. Each of them have focused their work to impact and embrace their diverse communities.

Check out the link below to see if you have visited these libraries and learn more about their projects!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Today's Fellows Friday, we're highlighting some of the Los Angeles, CA based architects. They have greatly influenced th...
12/09/2022

Today's Fellows Friday, we're highlighting some of the Los Angeles, CA based architects. They have greatly influenced the architecture of the city and have supported future architects.

To learn more about their projects and work, follow the link bellow or visit our SAY IT LOUD exhibit!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Friday 12/9 for a private event. However, the museum...
12/07/2022

We wanted to remind everyone that The Octagon Museum will be closed Friday 12/9 for a private event. However, the museum will be open Saturday 12/10 during our regular hours of 11-4pm.

You can purchase tickets at the link below, the 11am and 3pm tour are included with admission!
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

Time's running out to get tickets for our lunch and learn this Wednesday, December 7 at the National Building Museum! He...
12/05/2022

Time's running out to get tickets for our lunch and learn this Wednesday, December 7 at the National Building Museum!
Hear from photographer Andrew Feiler and Brent Leggs (Executive Director, National Trust African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund) on the legacy of the Rosenwald Schools. This event is the kickoff to our lecture series "Revealing Parallel Histories Hidden in Plain Sight".

Tickets are available here -> https://buff.ly/3Vt0ij0
Photo credits Andrew Feiler.

We're in the holiday season, and many are planning their travels. So, for Fellows Friday, we're highlighting some of the...
12/02/2022

We're in the holiday season, and many are planning their travels. So, for Fellows Friday, we're highlighting some of the architects who have lead major airport, train station, and metro station projects. Will you be traveling through one of their projects for the holidays? Explore the link below or visit the SAY IT LOUD exhibit at The Octagon to find out!

https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Get tickets today for our lunch and learn next Wednesday, December 7 at the National Building Museum (12:30-1:30)! Hear ...
11/28/2022

Get tickets today for our lunch and learn next Wednesday, December 7 at the National Building Museum (12:30-1:30)! Hear from photographer Andrew Feiler and Brent Leggs (National Trust) on the legacy of the Rosenwald Schools. Tix available via link below.

This is the inaugural event in our lecture series "Revealing Parallel Histories Hidden in Plain Sight." Photo credits Andrew Feiler.

Join us for the inaugural conversation in the series "Revealing Parallel Histories Hidden in Plain Sight" with Andrew Feiler and Brent Leggs to discuss Feiler's book on the Rosenwald Schools: "A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN Julius Rosenwald,...

Happy Thanksgiving from The Octagon Museum- we are so grateful for all of our members, supports, and visitors! We wish e...
11/24/2022

Happy Thanksgiving from The Octagon Museum- we are so grateful for all of our members, supports, and visitors! We wish everyone a happy, safe, and health holiday.

Just a reminder that The Octagon will be closed tomorrow Friday 11/25. Come visit though on Saturday 11/26! Follow the link below for tickets.
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

The Octagon was originally the Tayloe's winter residency so fireplaces are found in every room. However, in the front en...
11/21/2022

The Octagon was originally the Tayloe's winter residency so fireplaces are found in every room. However, in the front entrance, there are two stoves. They are molded cast-iron stoves specifically for burning coal. In the center is the firebox with a circular door with beading around it, and it's topped with a decorated urn. Beneath is an ash drawer with reeded legs on ball feet.

These coal-burning stoves are original to the Octagon and were installed during construction between 1799 and 1801. Come visit and see them for yourself right as you enter the museum!

https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

For Fellows Friday we're highlighting some of the architects who have designed and been the project leads on many museum...
11/18/2022

For Fellows Friday we're highlighting some of the architects who have designed and been the project leads on many museums and preservation work. Over their careers, they have also contributed to the education of future architects and been leaders in the industry.

Check out the link below and see if you have visited any of the museums they designed!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

With celebrating over the weekend those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, we at The Octagon wanted to once again...
11/14/2022

With celebrating over the weekend those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, we at The Octagon wanted to once again say thank you to all veterans!

We also wanted to share some history about the Tayloes who served while living at The Octagon. During the War of 1812, Colonel John Tayloe III served as lieutenant colonel of the cavalry of the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, his oldest son, John Tayloe IV, served in the U.S. Navy on the battleship, Constitution (nicknamed Old Ironside). He was involved in several pivotal sea battles during the war including the capturing of the British frigate, Guerriere. He was awarded a sword by the State of Virginia for his "intrepidity and valor" during that battle. In the Treaty Room hangs this portrait of John Tayloe IV wearing that very sword.

For Fellows Friday, we are highlighting the international architects! Each of them have globally influenced architecture...
11/11/2022

For Fellows Friday, we are highlighting the international architects! Each of them have globally influenced architecture through their leadership, innovation, and incredible designs.

Learn more about their careers and work at the link below or visit The Octagon's SAY IT LOUD exhibit!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

This eagle girandole is part of a pair hanging in the Treaty Room of The Octagon Museum. An eagle sits atop a standard w...
11/07/2022

This eagle girandole is part of a pair hanging in the Treaty Room of The Octagon Museum. An eagle sits atop a standard wrapped in laurel. Attached to the standard are three candle arms that each end in a lion head, which supports the candle. Decorative chains ending in metal tassels connect the eagle, laurel, lions, and flowers all together.

These girandoles were created and imported from England by the Tayloes. At some point they made their way back to England until 1952, when the Royal Institute of British Architects gifted them back to The Octagon. You can see these and many other pieces decorated with eagles at The Octagon since it was a popular motif in the federalist style.

https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

Today, we're highlighting some of the Chicago-based architects for Fellows Friday! They have greatly impacted their city...
11/04/2022

Today, we're highlighting some of the Chicago-based architects for Fellows Friday! They have greatly impacted their city, the surrounding towns, and many communities through their work.

Come visit the SAY IT LOUD exhibit at The Octagon Museum! Follow the link below to read more about these influential architects.
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Happy Halloween from The Octagon Museum🎃 Even though spooky season is coming to an end, you can still visit The Octagon ...
10/31/2022

Happy Halloween from The Octagon Museum🎃 Even though spooky season is coming to an end, you can still visit The Octagon anytime and ask our staff for a ghost story!

https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

The Fellows influence education through every route. Here, we've highlighted many professors and mentors. This Fellows F...
10/28/2022

The Fellows influence education through every route. Here, we've highlighted many professors and mentors.
This Fellows Friday, we're also highlighting some of the architects who are known for dedicating much of their work to designing schools and buildings for universities.

To learn more about their designs, follow the link below!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Poltergeists and Pints! We were very excited to share our haunted lore and enjoy a ...
10/24/2022

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Poltergeists and Pints! We were very excited to share our haunted lore and enjoy a beer tasting with True Respite Brewing Company.

Interested in our future events? Become a member today to get events discounts through 2023! Visit https://architectsfoundation.org/octagon-museum/octagon-membership/

Friday night, our Executive Director, Marci Reed, spoke at the 10th anniversary gala celebrating the CODAawards, a progr...
10/17/2022

Friday night, our Executive Director, Marci Reed, spoke at the 10th anniversary gala celebrating the CODAawards, a program of CODAworx, which celebrates the designers and their projects that integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces! The Architects Foundation has partnered with CODAworx on the awards program since its inception. Pictured onstage with Marci are (left to right) Ilene Shaw, Shaw & Co. Productions and producer of America by Design: Architecture, and Toni Sikes, CODAworx CEO.

Keep an eye out here for more cool upcoming partnerships between the Architects Foundation and CODAworx!

Only one week left before The Octagon Museum's Poltergeists and Pints!! Tickets are still available for the 6:30pm tour ...
10/15/2022

Only one week left before The Octagon Museum's Poltergeists and Pints!! Tickets are still available for the 6:30pm tour on Saturday October 22nd- hurry and purchase them at the link below!

Join us on a candlelit tour to separate fact from fiction, then enjoy a pint of beer from True Respite Brewing Co. and light refreshments! Event is 21 and up with beer and refreshments included in ticket price. Octagon Alliance members, please contact us for discounted tour information.

https://buff.ly/3Bl0tEz

Today, we're heading south and highlighting some of the Atlanta, Georgia-based architects for Fellows Friday! Through th...
10/14/2022

Today, we're heading south and highlighting some of the Atlanta, Georgia-based architects for Fellows Friday! Through their work as architects, designers, mentors, and leaders, they have greatly impacted and influenced the city of Atlanta.

To learn more about their incredible work, visit The Octagon's SAY IT LOUD exhibit or follow the link below.
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Over the weekend, two of The Octagon staff members went just two blocks up NY Ave and visited the White House! For the s...
10/10/2022

Over the weekend, two of The Octagon staff members went just two blocks up NY Ave and visited the White House! For the six months in 1814 that President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison lived at The Octagon, it became the White House. This is why today, The Octagon is sometimes refer to as the "other" White House.

What to learn more? Follow the link below for tickets to visit!
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

There are only a few tickets left for Poltergeists and Pints- follow the link below to reserve your spot! Join us on a c...
10/08/2022

There are only a few tickets left for Poltergeists and Pints- follow the link below to reserve your spot! Join us on a candlelit tour to separate fact from fiction, then enjoy a pint of beer from True Respite Brewing and light refreshments!

Two tours 6:30-8pm and 8:30-10pm on October 22nd, reservations required, and the event is 21 and up with beer and refreshments included in ticket price.
https://buff.ly/3Bl0tEz

Octagon Alliance members, please contact us for discounted tour information.

For Fellows Friday, we are heading north and highlighting the architects from New England! During their extensive career...
10/07/2022

For Fellows Friday, we are heading north and highlighting the architects from New England! During their extensive careers, they have advocated for diverse architects, taught future architects and designers, and designed many well-known buildings and facilities in New England.

Click the link below and visit The Octagon's SAY IT LOUD exhibit to learn more about these architects' influential work!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

While exploring The Octagon Museum, visitors often ask about these odd cases on the dining room buffet. They are George ...
10/03/2022

While exploring The Octagon Museum, visitors often ask about these odd cases on the dining room buffet. They are George III cutlery boxes made from mahogany with a serpentine front, inlaid edge, fitted interior, and ebonized base. Inside the lid is a decorative inlaid star. The case is fitted with Sheffield plated (layered combination of silver and copper) mounts.

Come visit to see these and many other artifacts original to The Octagon!
https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

It's Fellows Friday, and we are highlighting architects based in New York City! They influenced the city in many ways th...
09/30/2022

It's Fellows Friday, and we are highlighting architects based in New York City! They influenced the city in many ways through the education of architects and designers, chairing committees, preserving historic neighborhoods, and supporting housing initiatives.

Come visit our SAY IT LOUD exhibit or click the link below to learn more about these architects and their projects!
https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

This is another art piece we found in our archives! In 2001, the artist painted this incredibly detailed watercolor of t...
09/26/2022

This is another art piece we found in our archives! In 2001, the artist painted this incredibly detailed watercolor of the Coadestone fireplace in The Octagon's dining room. It focuses on the top right corner highlighting the nautical themed relief and the leaves in the hand-carved wood mantel piece. On the far-right edge of the fireplace, the artist even included the signature, which reads "Coade London 1799".

Did you know that The Octagon has the largest amount of Coadestone in the United States? Come visit the museum to learn more about all of our historic Coadestone fireplaces and see the beautiful details up close!

https://buff.ly/2NuLa2H

It's Fellows Friday! Today, we are highlighting women architects who have devoted their careers to the restoration, revi...
09/23/2022

It's Fellows Friday! Today, we are highlighting women architects who have devoted their careers to the restoration, revitalization, and preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and museums. Learn about these architects and their vital projects at the link below!

https://buff.ly/3IEgZ62

Did you know The Octagon is considered one of DC’s most haunted places? 223 years of rumors and lore have created quite ...
09/16/2022

Did you know The Octagon is considered one of DC’s most haunted places? 223 years of rumors and lore have created quite the storied history of our otherworldly guests. Join us Oct. 22 for Poltergeist and Pints on a candlelit tour to separate fact from fiction, then enjoy a pint of beer from True Respite Brewery and light refreshments!

Two tours 6:30-8pm and 8:30-10pm reservations required, click the link below for tickets. Event is 21 and up with beer and refreshments included in ticket price.
https://buff.ly/3Bl0tEz

Octagon Alliance members, please contact us for discounted tour information.

Address

1799 New York Avenue NW
Washington D.C., DC
20006

Opening Hours

Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm

Telephone

+12026267439

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