b's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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The Peacock Room.
Washington, D.C.

Peacock Room

This stunning blue and gold room changed cities twice before becoming part of the Smithsonian.
38.8880, -77.0264
Washington, D.C.

Old Stone House

The oldest building in the District of Columbia was preserved because of a mistaken connection to George Washington.
38.9057, -77.0603
The Knife Edge is on the right.
Washington, D.C.

Knife Edge

Architecture lovers won’t stop touching the National Gallery's 19.5 degree marble prow.
38.8909, -77.0172
"Car in Concrete."
Cáceres, Spain

Vostell Malpartida Museum

An old wool-washing house filled with Fluxus contemporary art.
39.4221, -6.5046
The statue at the Smithsonian.
Washington, D.C.

Bare-Chested George Washington

Perhaps the most scandalous statue of America's first president.
38.8913, -77.0299
Faded sign.
Baltimore, Maryland

Vote Against Prohibition Sign

A faded sign from the 1920s remembers Baltimore's resistance toward banning alcohol.
39.2821, -76.5935
The monument on Memorial Day.
Washington, D.C.

D.C. War Memorial

An overlooked memorial honoring the local Washington residents who died in World War I.
38.8876, -77.0435
Union Station.
Washington, D.C.

Site of the Union Station Train Crash

A 1,100-ton train fell through the floor in 1953. Workers got it patched up in just 72 hours.
38.8978, -77.0062
Man Controlling Trade.
Washington, D.C.

Man Controlling Trade

A muscular Art Deco monument represents the struggle between regulators and unbridled markets.
38.8925, -77.0204
A discreet entrance to the White House.
Washington, D.C.

Secret Entrance to the White House

The winding route passes through an enclosed alleyway, two tunnels, and leads to the White House basement.
38.9001, -77.0346
The Cairo still dwarfs its neighbors.
Washington, D.C.

The Cairo

This unacceptably tall building was the real reason for Washington, D.C.'s skyscraper ban.
38.9113, -77.0375
Looking out over eight lanes of traffic.
Washington, D.C.

The Lockkeeper's House

A derelict bit of infrastructure from the canal that once ran through D.C. is landlocked in the heart of the city.
38.8919, -77.0397
The footbridge to the island.
Washington, D.C.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

The national park was once a plantation estate.
38.8927, -77.0614
Lower Lower Wacker Drive.
Chicago, Illinois

Lower Lower Wacker Drive

Illegal drag racing two stories beneath Chicago’s streets.
41.8869, -87.6296
Senate side.
Washington, D.C.

Capitol Bollards

The 5.5-mile ring of steel posts around the Capitol Building is one of the largest (and most uniform) of its kind in the world.
38.8898, -77.0060
Gas 'n' God
Arlington, Virginia

Arlington Temple United Methodist Church

This church built atop a gas station promises to "equip you for the next stage in your life’s journey."
38.8963, -77.0726
Pre-Columbian gallery.
Washington, D.C.

Dumbarton Oaks

The Byzantine, pre-Columbian, and medieval art at this stately mansion are some of the most under-appreciated collections in D.C.
38.9142, -77.0639
The current view
Washington, D.C.

Georgetown Waterfront

The little-known, 300-year history of the area includes former lives as a bustling tobacco port, parking lot, and industrial dump.
38.9029, -77.0657
Dashes mark the old tunnel, solid lines are the newer ones
Washington, D.C.

Steam Tunnels Under Capitol Hill

100 years later, they're still down there.
38.8825, -77.0074
lilies blooming in September
Washington, D.C.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

A lovely aquatic park built by a one-armed Civil War veteran who made a fortune from Lotus flowers.
38.9128, -76.9433
The tunnel connects with the Treasury's dry moat
Washington, D.C.

FDR's Bomb Shelter

The first presidential bomb shelter was located in an old vault under the Treasury, connected to the White House via tunnel.
38.8976, -77.0349
Washington, D.C.

Inaugural Parade Center Line

A line of blue paint marks the route of the inaugural parade.
38.8988, -77.0339
Willard facade
Washington, D.C.

Willard Hotel

Legend has it that President Grant’s frequent drinking in the lobby gave rise to the term “lobbyist.”
38.8966, -77.0323
The tunnels all look slightly differiently
Washington, D.C.

Capitol Building Tunnel System

Members of Congress have traveled between the buildings on Capitol Hill for a century hidden from tourists, press, and storm clouds.
38.8922, -77.0080