by kristen sheldon, volunteer manager

The National Building Museum provides educational tours and learning activity carts that demonstrate how the built environment impacts their lives. Tours took visitors throughout our historic building, including the exciting heights of the fourth floor catwalk around the Great Hall, as well as several of our exhibitions.

Tours of House & Home told stories of America’s residential architecture and design, lending our patrons a fresh perspective a place they visit every day. Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces tours shed light on the history and technology of overlapping tile vaulted ceilings. Tours of the historic building educated visitors about the unique engineering methods used in its construction, from cutting-edge ventilation methods to accessible staircases designed to accommodate disabled war veterans.

Everyday activities in the Great Hall, such as Bridging the Gap and Arches and Trusses Discovery Carts, encouraged interest in engineering for K-12 students, while the Three Little Pigs cart taught preschoolers about building materials through a familiar story.

“…the programs added tremendous insight on and appreciation for the history of the museum, its architecture, construction, and uses over the last 200 plus years. I can’t say enough good things about Heidi the docent. I would highly recommend the group docent tour and Heidi in particular to anyone who is visiting Washington”.
-Linda Spiegel


“Your tour of the National Building Museum and House and Home exhibition directly addressed the diverse interests of our participants and was a key component in making our program as successful as it was…I believe that our group has left Washington, D.C. with greater knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the issues that they will face in spearheading joint stonemasonry focused approaches back at home. It could not have been done with-out you, and we hope that the connections made will truly be long-term.”
-Aarno Karako of HasNa




Read about a volunteer docent



Increase in Tour Requests

…making tours the 2nd most popular program offering at the Museum 

Image: Photo by Kevin Allen.