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“Great school field trip--it is a MUST for elementary school students”
Review of Decatur House

Decatur House
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$73.75*
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Owner description: Right across from the White House, this is one of the oldest surviving homes in Washington DC and was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Our fourth graders go to the Decatur House each year. They learn about the Civil War from knowledgeable and kind staff. Then they get to put on a play (that is filmed by the staff) about the Emancipation Proclamation. The kids even get to dress up! It is a great time for all. The house itself is beautiful and is definitely worth the visit if you're near the White House.

3  Thank skdphe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 22 of 23 reviews

Reviewed March 7, 2013

My 4th grade student took a field trip to the Decatur House and I got to go as a chaperone! I just wish they could have toured more of the house! The education team at this location 'filmed' the kids who all dressed the parts of Lincoln's cabinet and military leaders for a reenactment of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1860's. The building was still historically correct for the 1800s and was great for the kids to visit and see how buildings of that era looked. I plan to take my boys back and visit it on a non-field trip day!!

1  Thank cathy h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2012

You really should spend some time at the Stephen Decatur house. Both the house itself and the extensive White House gift shop. Decatur was a pioneer and far ahead of the times.

1  Thank Craig R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2012

a wonderful period home near the white house. a short visit and a nice break.

1  Thank NAFTAflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

This house should be as popular as any other monumental Washington, D.C. attraction. Built in 1818 by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (who also designed St John' s church in Lafayette Square) the house has seen everyone from visiting dignitaries to presidents. This building has survived from not only its significance but also the careful preservation from its owners to become the first and last residential building on Lafayette Square.
The house has three unique eras that each brought something new to the house. The first is the 1818-1836 era in which Commodore Stephen Decatur (whose glorious naval triumphs are too many to write here) and his wife Susan resided here. The first floor is meant to show the time of their occupation in the house from the pair's Gilbert Stuart portraits hanging up to the original 1818 flooring in the entryway. The second era is 1836-1861 in which John Gadsby and his wife lived here and built the slave quarters in the back of the house. (Yes, slave quarters steps from the White House.) The last true era is in which the Beale family lived here from 1872 to 1956 and the second floor shows every bit of the family's influence on the house. Altogether, these three unique eras are preserved in one house.
When visiting, a fee is not required, but a donation is gladly accepted. Parking is very, very limited since the house is very close to the White House. The house can only be accessed through a guided tour but these are always led by informative, patient guides who are open for questions. The entrance and gift shop have elevators but the house has limited wheelchair access. The house is currently closed with no foreseeable opening for renovations (on January 1st, 2012 it will be a year since its closing.)

4  Thank vmp1806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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