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Architecture of Historic Anacostia Tour

Meander DC's Historic Anacostia neighborhood—check out the Big Chair, Big Green, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, and the famous Frederick Douglass House.

Quick Details

Private Tour

The rolling hills east of the Anacostia River, with a commanding view of the Washington skyline, have been settled for centuries. Anacostia, as the neighborhood in Southeast DC is known today, has seen dramatic change and stark contrasts—from the trading grounds of the indigenous Nacotchtank to a Whites-only planned suburb called “Uniontown” to a predominantly Black enclave. Famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass, known as the “Sage of Anacostia,” spent the last 18 years of his life on his Anacostia estate, Cedar Hill. Douglass died in the home in 1895, and the house is now a free museum operated by the National Park Service (where our tour concludes). Anacostia gained infamy as the escape route of John Wilkes Booth, who fled down Good Hope Road after murdering President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in 1865. The waterfront served as protest grounds for WWI veterans during the Great Depression, who demanded the government pay they had been promised, and were then violently expelled by fellow U.S. troops led by General Douglas MacArthur. Today, the neighborhood endures as a modern testament to the resilience of the city’s Black community.

In this two-hour walking tour, our short one-mile walk is packed with historical buildings and fascinating anecdotes. From the Anacostia Arts Center’s former life as a 1937 Woolworth store to the 19-foot-tall chair on V Street SE, Anacostia’s fascinating and diverse architecture encapsulates the many identities this area has held. Today, new planned development and local investment in historic preservation are rapidly changing the character of this ever-shifting neighborhood.

Architecture of Historic Anacostia Tour Sights and Stops:

  • Anacostia Arts Center
  • Old Market House Square
  • St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church
  • Rose’s Row
  • The Big Chair
  • Big Green
  • Valley Place
  • Frederick Douglass House

Additional booking times are available as a private tour. Please visit the private bookings calendar to take a look!

For large groups, driving tours, or custom itineraries, please contact us to book.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Architecture of Historic Anacostia Tour

How strenuous is the route?

This tour route is mostly flat, with some moderate inclines. The tour covers approximately 1 mile over the course of 2 hours.

What should I bring on the tour?

We recommend bringing bottled water and wearing sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes.

Are there bathroom stops on this tour?

There are no bathroom breaks during the tour, but the Anacostia Arts Center has accessible restrooms, and the route ends close to a variety of cafes and restaurants.

Where does the tour start and end?

The tour begins outside the Anacostia Arts Center (1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington, DC 20020), and concludes near the Frederick Douglass House at the intersection of 14th and W Streets SE.

Map of the Tour Route