Decatur House

White House Area & Foggy Bottom

Designed in 1818 by Benjamin Latrobe for naval hero Stephen Decatur and his wife Susan, this brick building holds the honor of being the first and last house on Lafayette Sq to be occupied as a private residence. It's also one of the few urban residences in the US retaining slave quarters (in this case built in 1836). The White House Historical Association runs one-hour free guided tours of the house at 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm on Mondays.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby White House Area & Foggy Bottom attractions

1. Blair House

0.08 MILES

Together, the 1824 Blair House and adjoining 1858 Lee House have functioned as part of the official presidential guesthouse complex since 1943, when…

2. Lee House

0.08 MILES

Attached to Blair House as part of the official accommodations for the President's overnight guests, this building was built for Robert E Lee’s cousin in…

3. Renwick Gallery

0.09 MILES

Part of the Smithsonian group, the Renwick Gallery is set in a stately 1859 mansion on the same block of Pennsylvania as the White House. It's emerged as…

4. Lafayette Square


The land north of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave was originally deeded as part of the White House grounds. However, in 1804 President Thomas Jefferson decided to…

5. St John’s Church

0.11 MILES

St John’s isn’t DC’s most imposing church, but it is arguably its most important. That’s because it’s the ‘Church of the Presidents’ – every president…

6. White House

0.18 MILES

Play image association with the words “Washington, DC,” and chances are the first thing that comes to mind is the White House. The president’s pad is…

7. K Street


The descriptors ‘K St’ and ‘lobbyist’ have practically become synonymous since the 1990s. This is where high-powered lawyers, consultants and, of course,…

8. McPherson Square

0.26 MILES

Named for Civil War general James B McPherson, who once commanded the Army of Tennessee, this square sports an 1876 statue of McPherson on his horse…