National Gallery of Art

Standing across Constitution Avenue at the southern axis of Judiciary Square, the National Gallery of Art was 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 the 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. For more information, visit the website.


National Building Museum

Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum is America's premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. Since opening its doors in 1985, the Museum has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas and information about such topical issues as managing suburban growth, preserving landmarks and communities, and revitalizing urban centers.

The National Building Museum is housed in the historic Pension Building, one of Washington DC's most unique and beloved historic public spaces. Constructed between 1882 and 1887, in the aftermath of the Civil War, to house the newly created U.S. Pension Bureau, this notable building became a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

The National Building Museum is open seven days a week. Paid admission is required for entry to the exhibits. More information is available on their website:


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 .

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. For more information, visit:


Last Reviewed: 2022-04-19