Going to school in the District is like being in a living museum. You do not have to go far to see plenty of history right before your eyes.
Library of Congress
The Jefferson, Madison and Adams buildings make up this institution, which is the world’s largest library when it comes to the amount of books held and shelf space. While the library was originally housed inside the Capitol building, its rapid growth after the Civil War called for the construction of a separate facility. Today it holds more then 32 million catalogued books in over 470 languages, and is easily accessible.
Take the Metro to Capitol South, walk up a block to Independence Avenue and go into the Madison Building to get a reader card, which will permit you to explore the library’s vast collections. The Library of Congress is also notable for its architecture, so be sure to check out the main reading room in the Jefferson building and the Great Hall.
United States Capitol
With its unmistakable dome and its status as the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. government, the Capitol building is a must-see. Take a prearranged tour of the complex, which can be arranged by contacting your member of Congress’ office. Obtain a gallery pass from your Congressperson so you can visit the House of Representatives and Senate gallery when the legislature is in session to watch the proceedings in action.
Members of the House have offices in the Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn buildings located south of the Capitol, and Senators have offices in the Hart, Dirksen and Russell buildings located north of the Capitol.
Any list of things to do in Washington has to include seeing the White House, home to the U.S. first family and the seat of the government’s executive branch.
Located just two blocks from the eastern edge of campus, it is one of the most easily accessible attractions for GW students. Tours here are more difficult to get than those for the Capitol since they must be booked in advance through a member of Congress and often require a substantial wait. There are other ways, though, to get to see the hallowed halls of what is home to arguably the world’s most powerful person – like the White House internship program, which offers a select few the opportunity to work among the powerbrokers who enter the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as part of their daily routines.
Dramatic marble columns make up the fa?ade of the building that houses the nation’s highest court, reflecting its enduring presence in American society. The Court is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is no ticket needed to enter. Oral arguments are held twice a d
ay on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays on alternating weeks, and seating is on a first-come first-serve basis. If listening to a case is not appealing, try a courtroom lecture. They are held every half-hour on days the Court is not in session.