Book a real-time virtual tour and experience Washington's landmarks from the comfort of your home

Schedule a virtual interactive excursion with DC Design Tours! Enjoy the same incredible stories, beautiful sights, and fascinating secrets you'd experience on tour, plus historical photos, videos, and more! Each talk is a live video conference, in-person with your private guide. 

Our talks are perfect for educational programs, conferences, lunch and learns, social groups, and families. Presentations can be customized for the audience and time allowed, from young students to adults, and from thirty minutes to two hours. Read more about our live virtual tour series below, and get in touch at info@dcdesigntours.com to reserve your experience.

Monumental Core: The Design of the National Mall 

 

Mark Twain once described Washington DC as the "city of magnificent intentions." Over the past 250 years, the Washington landscape changed dramatically. From pasture lands to military training grounds, mud flats to monuments, the National Mall has evolved as the centerpiece of our Nation's Capital. Hear how our National stage and most famous landmarks have taken shape, from the towering Washington Monument to the somber Vietnam Wall, to the awe inspiring Lincoln Memorial. Highlights include:

 

  • The L'Enfant Plan

  • Washington Monument

  • The White House

  • National WWII Memorial

  • Vietnam Veteran's Memorial

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial

  • Lincoln Memorial

The Smithsonians: Tracing the Arc of American Architecture

 

Our "Nation's Attic," the Smithsonian Institution has shaped the character of the National Mall since 1855. Washington's most beloved museums trace the arc of American architecture, from the Gothic Smithsonian Castle to the modern Museum of African American History and Culture. Romanesque to Victorian, neoclassical to Brutalist, each unique building is an architectural study all its own. Learn about the style, design, controversy, construction, and fascinating backstory behind these celebrated museums. Highlights include:

 

  • Smithsonian Castle & Garden

  • Arts and Industries Building

  • National Museum of Natural History

  • Freer Gallery of Art

  • Hirshhorn Museum

  • National Air and Space Museum

  • National Museum of the American Indian

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture

Visions of Power: Architecture and Politics on Capitol Hill

 

At the Eastern end of the National Mall stands Washington's most enduring architectural icon: the U.S. Capitol Building. The conceptual center of the Nation's capital, it sits atop what city planner Pierre L'Enfant described in 1792 as a "pedestal awaiting a monument". Capitol Hill has since expanded to encompass other impressive edifices, including the magnificent Beaux Arts Library of Congress, the classical temple of justice that is the Supreme Court building, and the triumphant gateway of Union Station. Learn about the long and tumultuous history behind these imposing national landmarks. Highlights include:

  • U.S. Capitol Building

  • Capitol Grounds

  • Library of Congress

  • Union Station

  • Supreme Court Building

Millionaire's Row to Embassy Row: DC in the Gilded Age

 

Washington's movers and shakers once strolled the streets of Dupont Circle, where Massachusetts Avenue was the city's premier residential address. Heiresses, industrial magnates, newspaper tycoons and political elites built opulent mansions along the avenue, all to impress Washington society. After the Great Depression, many of these magnificent mansions were converted into embassies, social clubs, and offices. Hear the stories of the Capital's gilded elite and learn about the history of Washington's premier promenade. Highlights include:

 

  • Dupont Circle

  • Embassy of Indonesia (Walsh-McLean House)

  • The Cosmos Club

  • Society of the Cincinnati (Anderson Mansion)

  • Woodrow Wilson House

  • Spanish Steps

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt House

  • The Phillip's Collection

Rags to Riches: The Transformation of Historic Georgetown

 

A mention of modern Georgetown conjures up images of stately brick homes, tidy tree-lined streets, and bustling shops. Now one of the most idyllic and elite neighborhoods in Washington DC, Georgetown's origins are much less picturesque. Described by Abigail Adams as "a dirty little hole," Georgetown began as a gritty port, replete with ruffians, sailors, slave traders, brothels and saloons. From Canal Fever to Civil War, factories to condos, learn how Historic Georgetown has gone from coarse to posh in 250 years.  Highlights include:

 

  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

  • Old Stone House

  • Newton D. Baker House

  • Miss Lydia's English Seminary

  • Christ Episcopal Church

  • Pomander Walk

  • Volta Laboratory

  • Georgetown University

  • Exorcist Steps

  • Georgetown Waterfront

America's Main Street:

Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House Neighborhood

 

America's most famous avenue, connecting the White House and US Capitol building, hasn't always been the grand thoroughfare of modern Washington. Originally laid out in Pierre L'Enfant's plans of the new Capital, Pennsylvania Avenue and the surrounding neighborhood has been renovated, re-imagined and revitalized over and over again. From Murder Bay, a center of crime, gambling, and prostitution, to the stately boulevard of Presidential parades, Pennsylvania Avenue is a microcosm of the Nation's history. Hear the story of metamorphosis along America's Main Street. Highlights include:

 

  • The White House

  • Eisenhower Executive Office Building

  • Blair House (President's Guest House)

  • The Willard Hotel

  • Old Post Tower

  • J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building

  • U.S. Navy Memorial

  • National Archives

  • Temperance Fountain

  • Federal Triangle

Off the Mall and into the District:

Washington's Diverse Neighborhoods

 

Less than two miles north of the White House, DC's Northwest neighborhoods feel a world away from the towering monuments and expansive boulevards of downtown Washington. U Street, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan have long been recognized for their rich history and cultural diversity. Home to ambassadors and politicians, revolutionaries and civil rights leaders, these neighborhoods have hosted and housed every type of District resident, from working class to social elite. Highlights include: 

 

  • Meridian Hill Park

  • Josephine Butler Parks Center

  • Warder Mansion

  • Spanish Cultural Center

  • Scottish Rite of the District of Columbia

  • Unification Church

  • Lanier Firehouse

  • Adams Morgan Main Street

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