The White House, the Capitol building, and a certain monument are some of the most famous landmarks in Washington DC and they’re in good company. The United States capital is named for Columbia, the female national personification of the U.S., and George Washington (the district’s oldest landmark also bears the first president’s name).
It’s also one of the most visited cities in the U.S. This may be due to the over one hundred landmarks in the district.
In celebration of when DC was officially incorporated as a city on May 3, 1802, we’re highlighting all of its national landmarks past, present, and future: parks, memorials, and monuments (including the White House, Supreme Court Building, and the United States Capitol) on the map below.
View Washington D.C. Landmarks in a full screen map
The District of Columbia is home to 103 national landmarks, most of which are dedicated to events or people in American history. This includes the buildings of the three branches of U.S. government: the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court, all of which are current national historic landmarks. There are 72 more DC landmarks in the same category, along with seven other sortable types on the map:
- Current National Historic Landmarks (75)
- Moved National Historic Landmarks (1)
- Current National Memorials (12)
- Future National Memorials (4)
- Other National Memorials (3)
- National Historic Sites (5)
- National Monuments (2)
- National Historical Parks (1)
Most common are, of course, national historic landmarks. However, this doesn’t make them any less worth visiting. To be designated as such, structures, districts, objects, and similar resources nationwide must meet criteria of national significance, including having a significant impact on American history, an association with a nationally significant figure, or an architectural style or significant development in engineering.
Along with the many current national historic landmarks, a national museum previously located in DC has since moved. The Army Medical Museum and Library was designated as a landmark In 1965, though it was demolished just four years later. Thankfully, the building’s collection was saved. It’s now displayed at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, albeit this museum is currently without official landmark status.
Check out the map to view national monuments, memorials (current, future, and other), and historic sites and parks. Now let’s go over which of these landmarks in Washington DC are the oldest.
Washington DC was officially incorporated as a city on May 3, 1802. The district’s oldest landmark was designated 83 years later in 1885 (the Washington Monument). Let’s take a closer look at the oldest Washington DC landmarks in the table below.
|Washington Monument||February 21, 1885|
|Lincoln Memorial||May 30, 1922|
|Thomas Jefferson Memorial||April 13, 1943|
|City Hall / D.C. Courthouse||December 19, 1960|
|Decatur House||December 19, 1960|
|Octagon House||December 19, 1960|
|St. John’s Church||December 19, 1960|
|Tudor Place||December 19, 1960|
|United States Capitol||December 19, 1960|
|White House||December 19, 1960|
The Washington Monument is the oldest landmark in the nation’s capital. Its designation was followed by two more DC landmarks dedicated to past presidents in 1922 and 1943.
But perhaps the most interesting of the ten oldest DC landmarks are the seven that were designated on the same date in December 1960. Included are the White House, Decatur House across the way, and St. John’s Church, nicknamed the Church of the Presidents.
However, the date a building is officially named a national historic landmark often isn’t when it was constructed. In fact, there can be over a hundred years between. For example, construction on the White House began in October 1792 and was finished in November 1800. This makes the President’s residence older than the city itself.
Moving on, let’s look at the latest landmarks in Washington DC.
On the other hand, the district’s most recent landmark addition is the 2021 Pan American Union Headquarters. The majority of the new DC landmarks were designated throughout the 2010s:
- Pan American Union Headquarters (2021)
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial (2020)
- National Native American Veterans Memorial (2020)
- Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality (2016)
- World War I Memorial (2014)
- Congressional Cemetery (2011)
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (2011)
- Lafayette Building (2005)
- United Mine Workers of America Building (2005)
- World War II Memorial (2004)
If you feel like you’ve already visited DC after clicking through the map, check out Hawaii’s landmarks or those in Washington (state). Otherwise, you can start mapping your own state’s landmarks at batchgeo.com.