Murder Bay Becomes Federal Triangle

The Federal Triangle section of Washington exudes the power of our democracy. Wedged between 6th and 15th Streets and Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, the ten buildings of Federal Triangle are exactly what you’d expect from structures that are meant to convey strength, confidence, and stability. Influenced by the neoclassical style of the Louvre in Paris and Whitehall in London, the Federal Triangle project was to create more efficient operations at the same time show the permeance of government.

But Federal Triangle was not always this majestic. In fact, it wasn’t always Federal Triangle. This used to be the site of a neighborhood called Murder Bay.

It was a rough neighborhood. Overcrowded, crime ridden, with no sewers, it smelled terrible. Its muddy streets were lined with bars, gambling establishments, and houses of ill repute. And during the Civil War you’d find many soldiers frequenting these establishments.

And if you didn’t belong here or got on the wrong side of a knife, which happened often, it was easy to get rid of your body since its southern boarder was the old Washington Canal. The canal was fetid, stagnant, and disease-ridden making it the perfect place for a corpse to disappear. Today it’s Constitution Ave.

If Washington was ever going to become a respectable city, Murder Bay would have to go. So, between 1927 and 1938 Murder Bay was razed and Federal Triangle was built. It was all for the best. But I do think Murder Bay would make a better metro stop name than Federal Triangle.

Duration
3 hours
Group Size
1 to 8

Arlington National Cemetery: The Work of the Dead

Every working day more than twenty Americans who sacrificed for their country are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  On this tour we learn that while Arlington's dead rest in peace, they are always working.  Here we will explore how people from every background remind us of our heritage and our responsibility to one another.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Hidden on Capitol Hill

Few people think beyond the Capitol when they think of the Hill. This tour takes you to the heart of a neighborhood with a fascinating history that still speaks to us today. Learn about these famous locations from a former Capitol Hill resident.

from
250 USD
Duration
2 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
1 to 8

Embassy Row: Divinity & Diplomats

Most Embassy Row tours don’t venture far beyond Dupont Circle. But ours does. We see it all from top to bottom. This stretch of Massachusetts Avenue used to be called Millionaires Row where Gilded Age robber-barons built grand mansions. Today those mansions house most of Washington’s embassies, along with private clubs and statues of world heroes such as Mandela, Gandhi, and Churchill – and we will be right in the heart of it.

from
250 USD