Each year the National Civic Art Society offers a series of walking tours in the Washington, D.C. area. To be notified about future tours, sign up for our newsletter. Custom tours are also available on request. Please contact info@civicart.org or call (202) 670-1776. Below please find information on our 2019 series. You can register for the tours HERE.

The Influence of Classicism in the Architecture of Washington's Historic Neighborhoods 


The National Civic Art Society cordially invites you to take part in our 2019 walking tour series "The Influence of Classicism in the Architecture of Washington's Historic Neighborhoods." Local historian Jeanne Fogle will bring Washington’s past alive through stories of the area’s residents and insight into the area’s distinctive architectural development.

About the tour guide: Jeanne Fogle is a Washington, D.C., historian who was born in the Nation's Capital, where her family has lived for more than 150 years. She has authored three books on Washington, D.C.s social and architectural history: Two Hundred Years: Stories of the Nation’s CapitalProximity to Power, Neighbors to the Presidents Near Lafayette Square, and Washington, D.C., a Pictorial Celebration. Fogle serves as an adjunct professor of Washington History and Regional Tour Guiding and Tour Managing at NOVA. Her great-grandfather George F. W. Strieby was an accomplished fresco artist whose work adorns the U.S. Capitol.

Tours are limited to two hours in length and begin at 10 AM at the location indicated. The cost per tour is $10. NCAS members, students, interns, and Hill staffers may obtain free tickets by e-mailing info@civicart.org. If you have any questions, please e-mail info@civicart.org or call (202) 670-1776.

Tour 1. The President’s Neighborhood - Saturday April 27, 10:00am-Noon.

The White House has served as a symbol of power since December 1800 when President Adams became its first occupant. In the shadow of nearby classical government office buildings powerful people lived in stately residences. After the Civil, War, America’s nouveau riche class chose to build and reside near Lafayette Square. However, the first half of the 20th Century brought tremendous change to the area as old residences were replaced by banks, hotels, gentlemen’s clubs, national associations, and new government offices. Many of the new buildings embraced the then popular Beaux Arts style. However, in the 1960s as Modernism began to permeate the area, the tide was turned toward preservation through the vision of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Meet in front of St. John”s Church at the NE corner of 16th St. and H Street.

Tour 2. Capitol Hill Historic District - Saturday May 11, 10:00am-Noon

Capitol Hill owes its existence and growth to the presence of the federal government. The Capitol Hill Historic District covers 200 city blocks and boasts approximately 8,000 buildings, including the monumental federal complex and the extensive residential neighborhood. The architectural styles reflect the history of the city, beginning with the construction of the Capitol in 1793 and the accompanying cluster of boarding houses. L’Enfant’s street plan created a variety of irregular-shaped open spaces for parks, and the wide avenues with deep setbacks. The large classical governmental, commercial, and institutional buildings serve to contrast and compliment a cohesive collection of intact 19th century row houses with their detailed period styles and hidden alleys.

Meet at the Jefferson Library of Congress Building (in the driveway arcade beneath the main steps facing First Street, SE).

Tour 3. Dupont Circle Historic District - Saturday May 18, 10:00am-Noon

Stately architecture reflects a proud history in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and anecdotes about the building’s owners bring the area alive. This elegant section of the city experienced its golden age between 1880 and World War I. The area offers unusually rich and varied streetscapes. Here, among the city’s most elegant architecture are fine examples of early apartment buildings and 1920’s commercial buildings, along with the superior turn-of-the-century residences that celebrate the work of prominent local and national architects.

Meet in the arcade behind the Krispy Kreme Donunt Shop (near the 19th Street Metro entrance, south of Dupont Circle).

Tour 4. 16th Street Historic District - Saturday May 25, 10:00am-Noon

16th Street is graciously endowed with a myriad of impressive structures, both residential, institutional, and commercial. The avenue’s early history stems from its immediate proximity to the President’s Residence. The architectural styles that are showcased along 16th Street include clusters of Federal, Victorian, and Beaux Arts residences, national churches, and some of Washington’s most charming hotels and apartment buildings. Between Lafayette Square and Scott Circle, many of the grand mansions were replaced by in the mid-20th century with large impersonal office buildings, but the area north of the Circle retains much of its building stock from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Meet in front of St. John’s Church at the NE corner of 16th St. and H Street.

Tour 5. Kalorama/Sheridan Historic Neighborhood - Saturday June 15, 10:000am-Noon

Home to six presidents and the Gilded-Age nouveau riche, the Kalorama/Sheridan neighborhood is located just north of the original city boundaries, as they were laid out by Pierre L’Enfant. Once known for its idyllic landscape, the area underwent rapid development in the early 20th century. The streets follow the topography rather than L’Enfant’s city plan and are lined with a variety of housing forms, each of which contributes to a sophisticated and distinguished residential image that is unique within Washington. The neighborhood is distinguished by its well-designed houses and apartment buildings, some of which now are used by embassies, chanceries, private clubs, and institutions.

Meet on the corner intersection of Florida and Massachusetts Ave., at the Cosmos Club fence.



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