We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 1799 New York Ave Northwest, Washington DC, DC 20006
Phone Number: 202 638 3105
Website
Improve this listing
Today
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Thu - Fri 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: The Octagon Museum was built between 1798-1800 by John Tayloe at the...
The Octagon Museum was built between 1798-1800 by John Tayloe at the suggestion of George Washington. In 1814, the house was offered to President Madison as temporary quarters after the White House was burned in the War of 1812. The Treaty of Ghent was signed there, thus ending the war.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 11 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 4
    Excellent
  • 3
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Great home!

This is an impressive and complex building, and well worth the visit! It's free and self-guided, which is nice because you can come in at any time they're open and go at your own... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed June 12, 2015
WhitO5214
,
Washington DC, District of Columbia

Similar Things to Do in Washington DC

Add Photo Write a Review

11 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Rate and write a review
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level Contributor
150 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

The Octagon House is run by an architecture institute, whose modern building is behind the historic house that was built by a Virginia plantation owner when the city was just being established as our nation's capital. That it has survived pretty much intact with original floors, moldings, staircases, windows, brickwork, etc., is amazing, given the multiple occupants and uses, plus... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbus, Indiana
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2015

Today, square and rectangular rooms in a house are the norm, but here's a structure built on a different plan (literally) - the core of the house is, as the name implies, an octagon. While perhaps not the most practical concept, it generally works well and makes for a very interesting federal style house. Certainly worth a visit just for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
1,714 reviews
911 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,419 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2015

This is an impressive and complex building, and well worth the visit! It's free and self-guided, which is nice because you can come in at any time they're open and go at your own pace, but I would have benefitted from a guided tour myself. Either way, it was interesting!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015

This is such a great place to visit with so much history. I loved how you could roam freely around the house without a guide. You could just wander from room to room like you owned the place. It is supposedly the most haunted house in DC. I was sad not to see a ghost! This is a quick place... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
918 reviews
429 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 348 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

Built when the 18th merged into the 19th century, the Octagon House is the oldest still standing in Washington, DC. It housed President and Mrs. Madison during the War of 1812, driven from the White House by the torches of the British. The American Institute of Architects have taken the lead on restoring the house with rooms on three floors... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Kenton, Ohio
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

Got to walk around it and take some pictures. Was recommended to me to see by someone who works in DC. They didn't know it was only open on certain days of the week. Would like to see it on the inside next time i'm there since it was a presidents home at one time.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
256 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

The oldest remaining building in DC. Over it's long history the building has had many functions: Government Offices, temporary Presidential home, tenement and the list goes on. Given it's age and various functions it's in remarkable good condition, with lots of work yet to be done. Near the entrance of each doorway in the house you will find a laminated... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
294 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 298 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

Run by the American Institute of Architects. Madison lived there during the War of 1812 when the White House got burned. Besides the unusual shape, it has some interesting features like back halls and stairs used by servants. If you're in the area of Corcoran, DAR and Dept of Interior anyway, might as well drop in.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Octagon Museum also viewed

 
Washington DC, DC
 

Been to Octagon Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Octagon Museum staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?