Historic Georgetown is a port town whose history predates the formation of Washington, DC. Georgetown historically has deep roots as a center of intellectualism, innovation, and commerce. These are carried on today, as seen in the DC neighborhood’s weathered cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings. In the versatile Georgetown neighborhood, you’ll find some of the best restaurants, galleries, and shops in town.
But, you’ll also find some incredible federalist architecture. Georgetown is renowned for its architecture, consisting of historic brick and frame row houses and grand estates that date back to as early as the mid-1700s. You can visit these historic places, and many of them offer guided tours.
Dumbarton House witnessed the birth of the American Republic as the federal government settled into the newly established city. The building was constructed in 1799, and was the home of the first United States Register of the Treasury, Joseph Nourse, from 1804-1813. Dumbarton House boasts a period room and rotating exhibitions detailing the stories of early Washington, DC. It offers visitors a peek into what life was like in the earliest days of the nation’s capital. Dumbarton House provides a setting that is stately, charming, and elegant. It is available for private events ranging from corporate meetings, luncheons, and conferences to weddings and receptions, tea, and garden parties.
Tudor Place is a National Historic Landmark lived in by six generations of a single family. It was built by Martha Washington’s granddaughter Martha Custis Peter. Construction of the house was completed in 1816, and it was opened to the public in 1988. Tudor Place houses the extensive Mt. Vernon collection and a historic 5.5-acre garden. Tudor Place Historic House and Garden shares and preserves the precious resources of its architecture, archive, history, and collections.
The Old Stone House
The stately Old Stone House is the oldest standing building in Washington, DC. Established in 1765 in the British colony of Maryland, it is a stunning example of vernacular architecture. Its builders used locally available resources, and it was renovated by the National Park Service in the 1950s. The National Park Service opened the Old Stone House to the public in 1960. It is a rare example of pre-Revolutionary architecture.
This federal-style home was built by the first Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, beginning in 1787. Pierre L’Enfant designed its gardens. Early in the 19th century, Halcyon House was a bustling center of much of DC’s social life. It had a succession of owners, then was sold to Albert Clemens, nephew of Mark Twain, in 1900. In 1961, Georgetown University bought the property and used it as a dorm. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the headquarters for Halcyon, a non-profit organization.
The Peabody Room of the Georgetown Public Library
The Peabody Room is home to a unique collection of Georgetown neighborhood history. It provides a virtual tour of Georgetown, including maps, photographs, paintings, neighborhood microfilmed newspapers, artifacts, and engravings that document the various aspects of life in Georgetown. It also has a house history file for nearly every home in Georgetown.