Obscura Day 2015: Protecting the Capitol - Atlas Obscura

Washington, D.C.

Obscura Day 2015: Protecting the Capitol

From legendary stones to a hidden fort, join us as we discover what protected the Capitol.

Deep inside of Rock Creek Park lie two Washington D.C. legends.

Since the British burned down the U.S. Capitol in 1814, the home of our lawmakers has been subjected to major alterations. In the 1950s, during one particular renovation, a number of the original stone blocks - some dating back to the early 19th century - were stored in Rock Creek Park, this history hidden from the public eye. Until now. 

Join architecture historian and photographer Bill Lebovich on a half mile jaunt to find these legendary stones. He will give details on the history and story behind the Capitol stones.

After this journey, we will be joined by Atlas Obscura's CEO and host of the popular Slate Political Gabfest podcast David Plotz to help us discover Fort DeRussy, conveniently located just across the way. 

Washington, D.C. was a garrison city during the Civil War with Confederate armies menacing the capital from every direction. Early on in the war, the Union Army ringed the city with a series of earthen defense forts. Most of these forts have disappeared, leaving nothing but their names across the region (Fort Totten Metro, Fort Dupont Park, Battery Kemble), but two of them still stand, including the mysterious and nearly-swallowed-by-the-forest Fort DeRussy. 


Saturday, May 30th; 12pm - 2pm

Cost: $20

Location: Meet in the parking lot of the Rock Creek Nature Center - 5200 Glover Road 

*Your ticket is for both tours, but you are welcome to only come to one if time is short. We will take a short five minute break at 1 pm prior to the Fort DeRussy tour.*