Obscura Society DC: Protecting the Capitol - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Washington, D.C.

Obscura Society DC: 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 has been 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 provide us the stories behind the Capitol Stones.

After this journey, we will be joined by Atlas Obscura's CEO 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.

Notes for this adventure:

- This tour will require up to a mile of walking on a wooded path. Please wear comfortable shoes. 

- While the site is technically not off-limits, we ask all attendees to use discretion, caution and respect while attending this event.

- Share photos on Twitter and Instagram with us @atlasobscura, @davidplotz and with the hashtag #ObscuraSociety

All ticket sales are final. Please direct any questions or concerns to Matt Blitz at matt@atlasobscura.com.