National Academy of Sciences – Washington, D.C. - Atlas Obscura

National Academy of Sciences

For 60 years, the academy had no permanent location until members voted Washington D.C. as its forever home.  

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Many people love the Einstein Memorial on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) grounds, but few know they can go inside the actual building. 

The NAS features 1924 art and architecture celebrating the history and significance of science. Architect, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue designed the building in collaboration with architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie (famous for the Atlas at Rockefeller Center in NYC) and muralist Hildreth Meiere. Meiere’s career got a mega jumpstart as a result of the project. The NAS also maintains rotating art exhibits, as well as a permanent collection that explores the various themes of science and culture. 

Know Before You Go

The NAS is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and closed on weekends and holidays. There is no entrance fee, but a photo ID is required. Entrances are located at 2101 Constitution Ave NW and 2100 C St NW. The closest metro station is Foggy Bottom. If you come between 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m., check out the cafeteria with cheap eats downstairs (a favorite among State Department employees who work nearby!)

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