Last updated: 6/11/2012
Washington, District of Columbia
Street Address
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Mailing Address
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
phone: 202-272-2448
fax: 202-272-2564
Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the Great Hall, Museum Shop, café, or a docent-led tour of our historic landmark building free of charge. Admission is charged for exhibits, including all galleries, LEGO® Architecture and the Building Zone, and docent-led exhibition tours, where available. Tickets sold at the Museum's Information Desk Monday - Saturday 10:00 am - 4:30 pm; and Sunday 11:00 am - 4:30 pm.
Adults: $8
Seniors (age 65 and over) $5
Memorial Day through Labor Day, active-duty military and their families (with ID): Free
Members: free
Students (with ID): $5
Youth (3-17): $5
Children aged 2 and under: Free
Museum Type(s)
Jamee Telford, Director of Visitor Services
phone: 202-272-2448
Brett Rodgers, Online Marketing & Communications Manager
phone: 202-272-2248

As America's premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning, the National Building Museum offers insight into the history and future of the world we build ourselves. Exhibition subjects range from the poetic use of concrete to visions for affordable housing, as well as exploring possibilities of rebuilding New Orleans, and contemporary ideas for building sustainable residences.


Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum is a private, nonprofit institution. The Museum occupies the Pension Building, one of Washington D.C.'s most spectacular structures. The building, built from 1881 to 1887, was designed by civil engineer and U.S. Army General Montgomery C. Meigs and is widely recognized as a marvel of engineering.

Artifact Collections

The purpose of the National Building Museum's permanent collection is to illuminate the building process and document changing architectural styles and construction techniques. The current collections contain approximately 40,000 photographic images, 68,000 architectural prints and drawings, 100 linear feet of documents and 2,100 objects, including material samples and architectural fragments. Highlights include the Kress Collection, Wurts Brothers Photography collection, and the Northwestern Terra Cotta collection.

Research Collections

The National Building Museum does not maintain a reference collection or general reference materials. Some collections may be available for study by researchers through appointment only. Response to all research inquiries is governed by staff availability; every effort will be made to respond in a timely manner.

Educational Programs

The National Building Museum offers a variety of education programs from lectures with award-winning architects to festivals that introduce a younger audience to the built environment. Visit for an up-to-date listing of offerings.


BluePrints Magazine, printed quarterly. Annual Report, printed annually.

  • BluePrints Magazine, printed quarterly
  • Annual Report, printed annually
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