Address: 1799 New York Avenue, N.W.
Phone: 202-626-7439


Thursday – Saturday, 1-4pm for self-guided tours

Gudied Tours:

Guided tours are available outside of normal open hours with 24 hours advance notice. Call 202-626-7439 or email to arrange for a guided tour.

Self-Guided tours are free.
Guided tours are $10/adults and $5/students
Visitor Entrance: Entrance at the intersection of New York Avenue and 18th Street
Metro: Farragut West (blue and orange lines)Farragut North (red line)
Money barrels

Overview of organization: The Octagon, a house museum maintained by the American Institute of Architects Foundation, explores the worlds of architecture, design, historic preservation and Washington history in this meticulously restored residence located two blocks from the White House. Designed by William Thornton and built between 1799 and 1801 as the home of prominent Virginian John Tayloe III and his family, the Octagon also served as the temporary presidential mansion of James and Dolley Madison after the British burned the White House during the War of 1812. Today, visitors enjoy the elegant circular foyer with its marble floor, the grand stair hall and the unexpected brilliant colors of this federal period home.