Octagon House
Photograph by Timothy C. Greenleaf, NGS

Octagon House (18th Street and New York Avenue N.W.; phone: +1 202 638 3105)

This elegant Federal-style house, built in 1799-1801, escaped destruction during the British invasion of Washington in 1814. President Madison and his wife Dolley lived here after the British burned the White House. Curiously, the building is hexagonal in plan and the reason it is called Octagon House is unknown. The American Architectural Federation owns and maintains the building. The historic house also contains a gallery with changing exhibitions on architecture and early American History.