National Gallery of Art

Across Constitution Avenue stands the National Gallery of Art, established by Congress in 1937 for the people of the United States. The collection traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present. The core collection and funds for construction were donated by Andrew W. Mellon. Serving as Secretary of the Treasury, Mellon was the driving force behind creation of the Federal Triangle in the 1920s and 30s. The original West Building was designed by John Russell Pope who also designed the Jefferson Memorial and the National Archives Building. Opened in 1941, it is connected underground to the East Building, designed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1978. The National Gallery is open to the public free of charge.

National Building Museum

Completed in 1887, the National Building Museum is historically known as the Pension Building, is a museum of architecture, design, engineering, construction and urban planning. Great for all ages, the museum hosts various temporary exhibits around the Great Hall for all members of the family to experience.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is the nation’s monument honoring the federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people. Two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls have the names of more than 20,267 U.S. law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. Unlike many other memorials in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing: new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each Spring (, in conjunction with National Police Week—the calendar week in which May 15 or National Peace Officers Memorial Day falls).

Designed by architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial grounds boast plush carpets of grass, nearly 60,000 plants and 128 trees. The Memorial’s central plaza features an intricate paving pattern and a bronze medallion with the Memorial Fund logo: a blue shield with a red rose draped across it. Bordering the Memorial’s beautifully landscaped park are the two tree-lined “pathways of remembrance” where the names of the fallen officers are engraved.

Each of the pathway entrances is adorned with a powerful statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs. Sculpted by Raymond Kaskey, the bronze statues symbolize the protective role of law enforcement officers and convey the strength, courage and valor that are hallmarks of those who serve and protect.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, the Memorial offers self-guided, virtual and group tours—upon request and free of charge. Visitors are encouraged to experience the Memorial Visitors Center located at 400 7th Street NW—only a block from the Memorial.


Dynamic, engaging and interactive museum of news and journalism allows visitors to experience the stories of yesterday and today through the eyes of the media while celebrating the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment. The Newseum features a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions throughout the 15 galleries and 15 theaters and this venue is most sought-after for conferences, weddings, movie premieres and special events.

The Newseum has also become an important forum for debate and dialog about important issues of the day and a nonpartisan place to explore the principles on which America is built. Between the White House and the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Last Reviewed 2016-06-30