Washington, D.C. audio tour: Monumental Washington: From the Commerce Building to Jefferson Pier Marker

Monumental Washington: From the Commerce Building to Jefferson Pier Marker

Walking Tour

35 mins

About the Tour

“In great cities,” writes Daniel Libeskind, “the great buildings tell you things you don’t know and remember things which you’ve forgotten.” Learn what Washington’s monumental buildings and sculptures are saying on this walking tour from the White House Visitor Center to the Jefferson Pier Marker. Hear from a local art teacher who’ll shed light on the history and meaning behind the Washington Monument and other imposing structures you’ll see along the way.

Highlights on this tour include seeing:

• A government office designed like an Egyptian temple
• Sculptures of virtuous gods that were meant to model proper behavior
• Grand neoclassical buildings that were once brothels
• A hidden pier designed to serve as the world’s Prime Meridian

This tour also takes you through the National Mall to see the Ellipse Park and the German-American Friendship Garden. Allow about 35 minutes.

Tour Producer


Olivier Ballou

Originally from Canada, I've lived in Washington, DC for nearly a decade.

Major Landmarks

  • Washington Monument

  • Boy Scout Memorial

  • Commerce Building

  • Federal Triangle

  • Jefferson Pier Marker

Directions to Starting Point

Start outside the White House Visitors Center, 1450 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

At the end of the tour, you can visit the Lincoln Memorial nearby.

Best time of day

The White House Visitors center is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-4pm. However, you can complete the tour without going inside.


The area is safe but always be street-smart. Take care when crossing roads.


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Monumental Washington: From the Commerce Building to Jefferson Pier Marker