Comfort Inn Downtown DC/Convention Center
1201 13th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 682-5300
Fax: (202) 408-0830
This neo-classical church, National City Christian Church, contains one of the largest pipe organs in Washington DC. Visitors can hear free organ recitals at 12:15pm Thursdays, February through December. The sanctuary, which rises 200 feet above Thomas Circle, was designed by famed architect John Russell Pope. Also on the premises is an International Gift Shop, which sells the crafts of artisans from Third World countries.
Mary McLeod Bethune, a noted teacher and political leader, lived in this house from 1943 until her death in 1955. She served as director of the Division of Negro Affairs under Franklin Roosevelt and was an advisor to three other U.S. presidents. The house was the original headquarters for the National Council of Negro Women. Founded by Bethune, the group sought to promote women in society and eliminate all forms of discrimination. Today, the home is a museum dedicated to Bethune and all American black women. A large collection of writings, artwork, photographs and memorabilia are on display. Donations accepted.
Throughout the Washington city, you will find traffic circles that are named in honor of war veterans. Scott Circle is located at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue. Important offices like Australian and the Philippine's Embassies are located on this circle. The statute of United States Army general Winfield Scott has also been erected in the Circle.
In 1852 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a white congregation sold its building to its black members and Shiloh Baptist Church was established. By 1861, it had grown to 750 members, most of whom were slaves. When the Union Army offered safe passage to all blacks from Fredericksburg to Washington, many Shiloh members came here. Meeting in a small shanty, they continued to worship together and were also taught to read and write. In 1863, Shiloh was recognized as a true church and ordained its first pastor. In the 137 years since then, there have been only five other pastors.
Established in 1793, this church has played an integral part in the lives of many political leaders. Several presidents and cabinet members regularly worshipped here including John Quincy Adams and Dwight Eisenhower. Abraham Lincoln came with his family throughout his presidency. The Lincoln Parlor displays the original hand-written draft of an 'Emancipation Document' from Lincoln to Congress suggesting a bill designed to free the slaves. New York Avenue Presbyterian Church played an active role in the Civil Rights movement; its members joined the March on Selma and worked with local organizations. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was often a guest preacher.
Standing tall despite its proximity to multistory office buildings, this smallish Gothic Revival church with bright red doors has been a fixture in downtown Washington. Before pavement replaced trees on G Street, Epiphany Church was a tiny hall of worship, then a hospital for Civil War wounded, then eventually was named as the District's Episcopal/Anglican Diocese. The church is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Epiphany and its lovely courtyard are open daily, and the church administers multiple services on Sunday (parking is free for worshipers). Small classical concerts are also held here on occasion.
As Washington has grown and changed over the past century, Calvary Baptist has continued to meet the needs of the surrounding community. After school programs, feeding the homeless and working at local mental institutions are just a few of the many social activities that Calvary runs. This multi cultural, theologically diverse church in the heart of the city welcomes anyone who would like to worship with them.
Sixth and I is a Jewish Synagogue that provides a place for Jews to worship and also serves as a meeting place for the community members. This historic building located in the nation's capital is a living witness of the past Jewish generations. Discussions and classes are held on various topics from the past and present conflicts and the future challenges for the community. Religious services and other events too happen here.
Any fan of American art should stop by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The George Catlin collection is especially extensive, but fine artists like James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Willem de Kooning and Jasper Johns are also well represented. The museum is surprisingly eclectic. You will find a wide array of crafts from Native Americans and other ethnic minorities. Contemporary creations are especially intriguing. Do not miss the giraffe made of bottle tops or the Hampton Throne. Created in the garage of a local maverick, this foil-and-copper display includes a variety of household items and numerous religious symbols.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded non-profit organization helping to protect historic buildings and neighborhoods. The National Trust has a collection of historic and associate sites and homes across the country. Check out their website for more information and a complete list and map of the sites.
The second president, John Adams, was the first to live in the White House in 1801. Originally called the "Executive Mansion," it earned the nickname "White House" after its marble exterior was whitewashed to cover burn marks from damage by the War of 1812. Student and military veteran group tours are available with advance notice. The White House occasionally closes without notice for official functions.
The African American Civil War Memorial is a landmark on Vermont Avenue. Built by Ed Hamilton, this 9-foot (2.7-meter) bronze sculpture is called The Spirit of Freedom. It honors the 209,145 lives of African-American servicemen lost during the Civil War. Walk along the curved wall to read the names of these brave soldiers and sailors.