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National Building Museum, Washington DC

(3.5/5 based on 480+ reviews on the web)
Tour a museum for architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning when you visit National Building Museum. View detailed drawings, rare photographs from the early 20th century, and original building fragments. Take your younger kids to the Building Zone to build a fort, or construct a soft-block arch in the museum's Great Hall. Tour the building itself, which is a National Historic Landmark and was completed in 1887. The museum's shop is considered the "best museum shop" by several publications, including The Washington Post and National Geographic Traveler's blog. Make National Building Museum a part of your Washington DC vacation plans using our Washington DC tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • What is that Big Red Building in a sea of white in DC? Why it's the extraordinary National Building Museum. The building houses and IS a museum itself. What an amazing structure with a historical stor...  more »
  • We've been coming here, periodically, for years. It is great to be in this open, massive, but inviting space. Our most recent visit was to see the Doll House exhibit. Very well done, particularly with...  more »
  • We were visiting DC for a conference the first weekend in January. I wanted to take my kids someplace that would be fun for them...I was a bit concerned witg the usual DC museums because they are only...  more »
Google
  • The only reason this place gets 2 stars is because the building itself is beautiful. However, that is pretty much all this place has to offer. As a civil engineer, I was excited to visit this museum. We paid the $10 admission to see the exhibits and quickly realized that there wasnt much to see. Very little information on architechture or construction, mainly photos of buildings and landscapes, not all of which were even interesting. Struggled to find 45 minutes worth of stuff to do. Not worth the money at all. Come in, see the buidling for free, and then leave.
  • This is one of my favorite buildings in DC. The museum is run impeccably, features some of the most magnificent architecture in town, and hosts well-planned and interactive exhibits regularly. A+ attraction in DC...
  • I have visited the National Building Museum on three trips to Washington, and have enjoyed my visit each time. The architecture is striking from the interior and exterior, and of a different style than most in DC. The permanent exhibitions are very informative and worth the modest cost. The temporary exhibits have been great as well. Each exhibit generally describes the history of building materials and methods, which has had a greater impact on U.S. history and culture than most realize. The Museum Shop is easily one of the better ones in DC.
  • I have always enjoyed visiting the National Building Museum: it's a great space, I've never seen it as crowded as the museums on the Mall, and it's had some very interesting and unique shows in the past. But the $16 ticket fee just too high in a town packed with free museums that have so much more to see, comparatively. The gift shop, (pricey as all museum gift shops), has some really cool stuff, focusing on well and unusual design items for home and office as well as a fascinating array of architectural and design books. It is convenient, just one stop from Union Station and an easy walk to either the Mall or Chinatown area.
  • Didn't get to visit the whole exhibition but joined the free tour of the building. Very informative, we were in a small group, so it was easy to listen to the explanations. Beautiful place