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National Building Museum

401 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20001 (Downtown / Chinatown)
202 272 2448
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Ranked #94 of 252 attractions in Washington DC
Type: History Museums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Traveler Description: The National Building Museum is located in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., a short walk from the National Mall, the Verizon Center, and... more »
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234 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

This place is amazing. The exhibits are just up my two girls alley. They are 6 and 3 and both enjoy doing everything. It is perfect for a hot day in the city, right across from the metro so even snowy days aren't a struggle. Big plus for us - they are free to military! The place is always clean... More

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

The museum is a relative newcomer to the collection of museums in our Capitol. Because it's privately operated, you will pay a fee to see what they have to show. Honestly, I'm not entirely certain its worth the cost unless you like those particular attractions. You can walk in and enjoy the building for free, and that may be the... More

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Southern NJ
Top Contributor
289 reviews 289 reviews
78 attraction reviews
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

My adult daughter chose this museum when we visited her for her birthday. Fabulous building! The museum appeals to all age groups. They have some nice activities for children. The two exhibits we visited, Designing for Disaster, and House and Home, were fascinating. They had interactive aspects to make the exhibits more engaging. I went with three engineers, all of... More

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
48 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Come here during sunset---to admire the glowing red brick facade. This is a great landmark building with a stunning spatially-grand atrium---often seen in Washington balls and political events. The marble columns are some of the tallest in the world. When the sun streams through the upper windows---a photographer's delight. Formerly the Pension Building, the design accommodated Civil War veterans---with shallow... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Warrenton, Virginia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
17 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Although this museum has been open for only a year, it has great potential. The plywood maze they built is amazing! (Sorry fornthe pun). The play room is done with great imagination and the exhibits are very interesting. There is plenty of room for expansion and I truly hope they do!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Arlington VA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Not to be missed if you travel to Washington, D.C., or if you live here. Great exhibits and one of the best gift shops in town for design and art books. And do the tour!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

My husband loved this place. My younger kids thought it was great. My older child and myself were definitely more eh. My husband loves architecture, and he took the 45 minute tour (which went longer than 45 minutes, and he actually bailed at the 1 hour mark because we had other things on the agenda that day). The inside is... More

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Bellevue, Washington
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
61 attraction reviews
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

The interior of this building is really impressive, having hosted many Presidential inaugural balls over the years. There is no charge to walk around the interior atrium. I didn't feel the exhibits were necessarily worth the cost of admission however. Maybe it's just being spoiled by the free admission at the various Smithsonian museums. At the Building Museum, one of... More

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Washington DC
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

The Victorian building is an architectural masterpiece, of which the museum gives free tours every day. Of the rotating exhibits, House and Home is a wonderful way to connect with buildings that are homes and understand what makes a building a house and a house a home. Open summer 2014 only, the maze is a real challenge for both kids... More

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Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
26 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

I found this visit left much to be desired. The building itself was really interesting, and my husband went on the tour which he said was great, but because I have mobility problems I sat downstairs and watched a team of people transforming the floorspace for a wedding later that day. When I finally ventured upstairs there was a room... More

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