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Decatur House Museum
National Trust for Historic Preservation

748 Jackson Place N.W.
Washington, DC

Phone: 202 842 0920

Statement of Purpose:

The mission of Decatur House is to educate the public about American cultural and social history as it relates to the House, its location, architecture, preservation, and its occupants and their stories. We accomplish this mission through our collections, permanent and temporary exhibits, publications, tours and programs.


Decatur House is one of the oldest surviving homes in Washington, DC, and one of only three remaining residential buildings in the country designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the father of American architecture. Completed in 1818 for naval hero Stephen Decatur and his wife Susan, its distinguished neo-classical architecture and prominent location across from the White House made Decatur House one of the capital's most desirable addresses and home to many of our nation’s most prominent 19th century political figues, such as Henry Clay, Martin Van Buren, Edward Livingston and Judah Benjamin. Today, visitors hear compelling stories of this unique site, from elite socializing to a fatal duel to a slave's campaign for freedom.


The Decatur House collections features 18th, 19th decorative arts, Chinese export porcelain and other Asian, American and European objects. The collections center around the occupancy of the Decatur and Beale families.


The primary exhibition is the eight period furnished rooms, interpreted to visitors through a guided house tour.

March 2000 through January 2001

"An Intimate Look at Decatur House: It's Private, Public and Service Spaces"

This exhibition utilizes recent research to chronicle the lives of servants and slaves at Decatur House. Newly discovered court records have brought to light the compelling story of Lotty Dupuy, a slave owned by Henry Clay who sued Clay for her freedom while she lived in Decatur House. This exhibition places her story and that of other individuals in the context of urban slave life in Washington.


Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 4:00 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

Admission & Directions:

Admission is $4.00 for adults, $2.50 for children under 12, students and seniors. Admission is free to National Trust members and Friends of Decatur House.

Decatur House is located one block north of the White House on historic Lafayette Square Park. Our entrance to the Museum and Gift Shop is at 1600 H Street, N.W. Our front door is on Lafayette Square Park at 748 Jackson Place, N.W.

By car:

(Remember I (Eye) Street is one way going West, H Street is one way going East.)

From the District:

Take Constitution Avenue to 17th Street, turn right onto H Street. (Enter through the 1600 H Street entrance.)

From Virginia:

From 14th Street Bridge/ 14th Street, take a left onto Eye Street, make another left onto 17th Street, a final left onto H Street. (Enter through the 1600 H Street entrance.)

From Baltimore/ Annapolis:

Take Route 50, which becomes New York Avenue. Turn left onto 9th Street, you will cross New York Avenue again. Make a right by the side of the Convention Center. Stay in the left lane and it will become I (Eye) Street. Stay on I Street and turn left onto 17th Street and left onto H Street. Enter through 1600 H Street.

By Metro:

Farragut West is the closest station on the Orange and Blue Lines. During the week take the 17th Street exit, walk to the left exit after riding the escalator and turn right and walk a block south toward H Street. The museum is straight ahead on the corner of Jackson Place and H Street. Enter the museum at 1600 H Street.

Farragut North is the closest station on the Red Line. At K Street, cross to Farragut Square and walk down 17th Street to turn left onto H Street, enter the museum at 1600 H Street. Or, from the Metro exit cut through Farragut Square to the Connecticut Street side, cross I Street and walk one block south. The museum is located at the corner of Jackson Place and H Street. Enter the museum at 1600 H Street.


Available street parking during business hours is minimal. On weekends one is often able to find street parking and there are garages in the area (within 2 blocks) to accommodate overflow.


Key Personnel:

Paul Reber: Executive Director

Sheri Levinsky: Director of Education and Programs

Darcy Romano: Director of Marketing and Site Rentals

Tucker Hager: Shop Manager

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