Wandering Iowan's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Washington, D.C.

American University Experiment Station

The school tested mustard gas for the U.S. Army during World War I.
Washington, D.C.

Potomac Park Flood Levee

This mysterious structure by the Washington Monument is a flood barrier designed to protect the White House against rising waters.
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.

NASA Full Scale Wind Tunnel Propeller

While most wind tunnels test scale models, the "Cave of Winds" was large enough for actual airplanes.
Washington, D.C.

Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum

Before founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton had a tremendous humanitarian impact by locating thousands of missing soldiers.
Washington, D.C.

Cher Ami

A heroic pigeon that, through a barrage of gunfire, delivered a message that saved over 100 lives in World War I.
Washington, D.C.

The K-9 of the Korean War Veterans Memorial

Those with a sharp eye can find the hidden image of a German Shepherd on the memorial's Mural Wall.
Washington, D.C.

Knife Edge

Architecture lovers won’t stop touching the National Gallery's 19.5 degree marble prow.
Washington, D.C.

National Cathedral Bell Tower

There’s a special club house at the top for the bell ringers.
Washington, D.C.

The Old Patent Model Museum

During the Industrial Revolution this “Temple of Invention” was full of intricate miniature machines and gadgets.
Washington, D.C.

Sergeant Stubby

The most decorated dog of WWI is preserved in the Smithsonian for his heroism.
Washington, D.C.

House of the Temple

This imposing Masonic temple a mile from the White House was the first public library in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.

Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon

The last known passenger pigeon, Martha's remains serve as a tool to educate about conservation.
Washington, D.C.

Uncle Beazley the Triceratops

A celebrity from the late Cretaceous period.
Washington, D.C.

Peirce Mill Spy Station

Cold War intelligence agents monitored communist embassies from an attic in a former pigeon coop.
Washington, D.C.

Abandoned Drawbridge Control Room

The hidden offices underneath Memorial Bridge have been locked up since 1976.
Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument Lightning Rod

The monument's pointy aluminum tip has been melted down by repeated lightning strikes.
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.

District of Columbia Center Point

A little marble compass above George Washington's (empty) tomb in the Capitol marks where D.C.'s four quadrants intersect.
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.
Washington, D.C.

Watergate Steps

Decades before the scandal, this staircase on the river was a literal "water gate."
Washington, D.C.

Bare-Chested George Washington

Perhaps the most scandalous statue of America's first president.
Washington, D.C.

USNO Master Clock

The most accurate timepiece in the world.
Washington, D.C.

Historic Elevator at Potbelly

This sandwich shop has a century-old elevator behind a sheet of plexiglass.