Rethinking Brutalism - Atlas Obscura
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Washington, D.C.

Rethinking Brutalism

Join us for a guided walking tour exploring Washington, D.C.'s most iconic Brutalist buildings.

Whether you love or loathe Brutalism, it’s an architectural style that is hard to miss in Washington, D.C.

This Obscura Day, join Brutalist DC founder Deane Madsen for a walking tour of some of the region’s most notable examples of Brutalist architecture.

Brutalist architecture started appearing in D.C. during the late 1970s due to the government mandate that new agency buildings be unidentifiable. It also proved to be an efficient way to house millions of square feet in office space. Famed architects Nathaniel Owings and I.M. Pei played large roles in spreading brutalist architecture across the capital city, while Harry Weese’s vaulted brutalist Metro station designs began popping up in D.C. starting in 1976.

Using Brutalist DC’s recently released Brutalist Washington Map, we will spend a delightful afternoon visiting and learning about these brooding behemoths that dot our city.


  • Each participant will receive a copy of the Brutalist Washington, DC map ($10 value).
  • This tour will begin near a metro station on the green and yellow lines. Attendees will be emailed exact meetup location.
  • This is a two-hour, outdoor walking tour. Please wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and dress for the weather.
  • Tour will go on rain or shine.
  • Photography is encouraged! Please share your photos with @AtlasObscura and @brutalistdc using the tag #ObscuraDay.



Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

Check out our full lineup of amazing adventures taking place all around the world on Obscura Day, our annual celebration of discovery!

Use the #obscuraday hashtag on your favorite social media platforms to show us how you're celebrating. We'll be featuring your posts on our own platforms all day, and you could even win some Atlas Obscura prizes.