Visiting the Speaker’s Office

The images from the US Capitol following the recent terrorist attack are shocking. So, to try to return to some resemblance on normalcy, I thought I’d share some photos I took last year in the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

On my way there I was fully expecting to see the typical Washington power office: Dark wood paneling, a huge desk flanked by flags, and the usual “show me wall” (a wall covered with framed pictures of the office’s occupant with famous people). What I found was far from that.

As you see in these photos, the Speaker’s desk is rather small. Instead of being the focus of the room, it’s in front of a window with a grand view of the Mall. Set only with a phone, a small arrangement of flowers, and in/out boxes, it’s probably a place she doesn’t spend much time. The rest of the office is divided by two sitting areas. The focus is on bringing people together for discussion, rather than pronouncement. The color tone is softer than most Congressional offices, perhaps with a goal of lowering the intensity of emotions. Overall, it conveys a unique combination of power and calm. Which is most reassuring these days.

David Shaw

When not showing visitors the District (that’s what residents call Washington) I enjoy reading, grilling, and traveling. I’ve been to nineteen countries and every state except Idaho and Nebraska. I am a Certified Master Guide of the Guild of Professional...

David Shaw Full Bio
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