The tours of NPR’s headquarters are on hold because of the pandemic. But when they come back it is a must see for those coming to Washington for more than a few days and want to do something off the beaten trail.
Located in the NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhood the building is what you’d expect from NPR: A portion of it used to be a Smithsonian warehouse, it has a green roof, is gold LEED certified, has a bike room holding 70 bicycles, and has beehives on the roof.
The NPR tour is a treat for both techies, news junkies, and long-time NPR fans/nerds. The tour includes the theater where live concerts are held and recorded, a walk above the massive newsroom that operates 24 hours, and a visit to one of the many spaceship-like studios where programs are produced. You’ll probably walk past many of your program favorites, but since it’s radio you won’t recognize them unless they say hello.
Security is tight, photography limited, metro is close, and reservations are needed.