National Building Museum
Good for: architecture, people watching, design, National Historic Landmark, family-friendly
Lonely Planet review for National Building Museum
Devoted to architecture and urban design, this under-appreciated museum is appropriately housed in a magnificent 19th-century edifice modeled after the Renaissance-era Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Four stories of ornamented balconies flank the dramatic 316ft-wide atrium, and the gold Corinthian columns rise 75ft high. Rotating exhibits on different aspects of the built environment are hidden in rooms off the atrium.