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National Building Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
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Address: 401 F Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20001
Phone Number: 202 272 2448
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The National Building Museum tells the stories of the world we design...

The National Building Museum tells the stories of the world we design and build. We’re one of the most family-friendly, awe-inspiring spots in Washington, D.C. The Museum offers something for everyone, from children to design buffs to building professionals. Learn about the Museum’s historic home during a free docent-led tour, offered daily. Docents also lead tours of exhibitions. Our 75-foot Corinthian columns are the country’s tallest.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 375 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 140
  • 144
    Very good
  • 57
  • 24
  • 10
A little out of the way but nice

Of course I am an architect so I really enjoyed this museum. They have some fun areas for kids to build things. They have some really nice special exhibits at the moment. The... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Luanne C
Newport, Kentucky

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375 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
138 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We came here because my partner is an interior designer and so it only made sense! The interior is pretty worth checking out though candidly the exhibitions were not very inspiring. Also a downer: the gift shop closed before we could walk through. So that was a sad and avoidable moment.

Thank DanielLogan
Newport, Kentucky
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Of course I am an architect so I really enjoyed this museum. They have some fun areas for kids to build things. They have some really nice special exhibits at the moment. The space is really not what you expect from the outside. Make sure you check out the lions across the street.

Thank Luanne C
Level Contributor
193 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to this museum specifically for the special exposition: "The Beach" . Our four grand children had read about it and definitively wanted to go. We went early in the morning and the line was un-believable to get in that special exposition so we decided to come back end of the day which we did. We did not have... More 

Thank PAC168
Manhattan, Kansas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Could have been that they were between exhibits. I have seen the website that showed big things going on on the main floor. There was nothing during our visit. It seemed kind of dirty to me. Great concept for a museum, just might need more funding.

Thank kskkgd
Lawton, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
58 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went for the Beach, but also took the free historical tour, and wandered the exhibits. There was a fantastic one featuring the work of Colin Winterbottom on the rehab of the Washington Monument and student project on monuments.

Thank NesofOklahoma
Woodbridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Very impressive building that I knew little about, but got interested when saw a discount offer. Metro subway goes directly to across the street, so easy round trip. The building is old and massive and beautiful, but impervious to almost any destructive force! You will know what I mean when you learn about it. History is very interesting, and our... More 

Thank Martha S
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2015

Free Smithsonian museum, except for occasional special exhibits, in historic building. Photo exhibits in side galleries. Can be a quick walk through, or a longer visit if exhibits of particular interest.

Thank iowavisitor2015
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2015

Perfect for families with Young Children! Many Hands On Experiences! Pretty Museum with Flair & Artistic Values! Perfect for all ages! A Wonderful Outing for family & friends! A Treasure!

Thank Galia B
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
748 reviews
391 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 642 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2015

The National Building Museum, formerly "The Pension Building," has a long history dating back to the clamor after the Civil War to take care of veterans and their families. The building on the outside is an architectural marvel. Look up at the lintels. They are amazing. On the inside, you will find yourself oohing and aahing. It's huge and impressive.... More 

Thank Anthony-Susan
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
338 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

Anyone who watches Christmas In Washington each year and marvels at the shear beauty of this building should not miss seeing it in person. The corinthian columns are among the tallest interior columns in the world at 75 ft high and 25 ft circumference. When you see them on TV you just know you need to see them and this... More 

Thank Patty B

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