b's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.
Loading map...
Washington, D.C.

Peacock Room

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

Old Stone House

The oldest building in the District of Columbia was preserved because of a mistaken connection to George Washington.
Washington, D.C.

Knife Edge

Architecture lovers won’t stop touching the National Gallery's 19.5 degree marble prow.
Cáceres, Spain

Vostell Malpartida Museum

An old wool-washing house filled with Fluxus contemporary art.
Washington, D.C.

Bare-Chested George Washington

Perhaps the most scandalous statue of America's first president.
Baltimore, Maryland

Vote Against Prohibition Sign

A faded sign from the 1920s remembers Baltimore's resistance toward banning alcohol.
Washington, D.C.

D.C. War Memorial

An overlooked memorial honoring the local Washington residents who died in World War I.
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.
Washington, D.C.

Man Controlling Trade

A muscular Art Deco monument represents the struggle between regulators and unbridled markets.
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.
Washington, D.C.

The Cairo

This unacceptably tall building was the real reason for Washington, D.C.'s skyscraper ban.
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.
Washington, D.C.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

The national park was once a plantation estate.
Chicago, Illinois

Lower Lower Wacker Drive

Illegal drag racing two stories beneath Chicago’s streets.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Washington, D.C.

Steam Tunnels Under Capitol Hill

100 years later, they're still down there.
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.
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.
Washington, D.C.

Inaugural Parade Center Line

A line of blue paint marks the route of the inaugural parade.
Washington, D.C.

Willard Hotel

Legend has it that President Grant’s frequent drinking in the lobby gave rise to the term “lobbyist.”
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.