Step Inside The Oldest Home In Washington DC

3 min read

Washington DC, the capital of the United States, is known for its rich history and iconic landmarks. From the White House to the Lincoln Memorial, the city is filled with historical sites that attract millions of visitors each year. Among these landmarks, there is one hidden gem that stands out as the oldest home in Washington DC. This article will take you on a journey through time as we explore the history, architecture, and significance of this remarkable residence.

The History of the Oldest Home

The oldest home in Washington DC is the Tudor Place, located in the Georgetown neighborhood. It was built in 1816 by Thomas Peter, a descendent of Martha Washington, the first First Lady of the United States. The house has witnessed more than two centuries of American history, surviving the Civil War, the Great Depression, and numerous transformations of the city.

Originally, the Tudor Place estate covered over 8,000 acres of land, but due to urban development, the property has significantly reduced in size. Today, it sits on a beautifully landscaped garden of about five and a half acres, offering a tranquil retreat in the heart of the bustling city.

Throughout its history, Tudor Place has been home to six generations of the Peter family. It was only in 1983 that the last descendant of the family donated the property to the Tudor Place Foundation, ensuring its preservation and accessibility to the public.

The Architecture of Tudor Place

The architecture of Tudor Place is a unique blend of Federal and Georgian styles, reflecting the tastes and trends of the early 19th century. The house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, the architect responsible for the original design of the United States Capitol.

One of the most distinctive features of Tudor Place is its red brick exterior, which stands out among the surrounding buildings. The symmetrical facade is adorned with elegant white columns, creating a grand entrance that exudes timeless beauty.

Inside the house, visitors are greeted with a stunning collection of period furniture, artwork, and decorative objects. Each room tells a story of the past, offering a glimpse into the lives of the Peter family and the cultural heritage of the time.

The Significance of Tudor Place

Tudor Place holds significant historical and cultural importance in the nation’s capital. It serves as a tangible link to the early days of the United States and provides a firsthand account of the lifestyle and aspirations of the country’s elite.

One of the notable aspects of Tudor Place is its role in preserving the memory of George Washington. Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, inherited personal artifacts and memorabilia from her famous grandparents. These precious items, including George Washington’s compass and a lock of his hair, are now on display at Tudor Place, allowing visitors to connect with the nation’s first president in a deeply personal way.

Furthermore, Tudor Place serves as a center for education and research. The Tudor Place Foundation offers guided tours, lectures, and educational programs that delve into the history and culture of the house and its inhabitants. Scholars and researchers also have access to the extensive archives and library, which house a wealth of information about the Peter family and their contributions to American society.

Visiting Tudor Place

If you’re planning a trip to Washington DC, a visit to Tudor Place should be on your itinerary. The house is open to the public, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the charm of early American life.

Guided tours are available, providing in-depth insights into the history, architecture, and collections of Tudor Place. Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories about the Peter family and the significant events that shaped the city and the nation.

As you explore the house and its gardens, take a moment to appreciate the tranquility and beauty that Tudor Place offers. The meticulously maintained gardens provide a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, inviting visitors to relax and reflect on the rich history that surrounds them.


The oldest home in Washington DC, Tudor Place, is not just a house but a living testament to the history and culture of the nation. Its architecture, collections, and significance make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in experiencing the charm of early American life.

Whether you’re drawn to the stunning architecture, the intriguing stories of the Peter family, or the treasure trove of artifacts from George Washington’s era, Tudor Place offers a unique and immersive experience that will transport you back in time.

FAQs After The Conclusion:

1. Can I visit Tudor Place without a guided tour?

Yes, you can visit Tudor Place without a guided tour. However, guided tours offer a more comprehensive and in-depth experience, providing valuable insights into the history and significance of the house.

2. How long does a typical tour of Tudor Place last?

A typical guided tour of Tudor Place lasts approximately one hour. However, you can spend additional time exploring the gardens and grounds at your leisure.

3. Are there any special events or exhibitions held at Tudor Place?

Yes, Tudor Place hosts a variety of special events and exhibitions throughout the year. These include lectures, concerts, and temporary exhibitions that further enrich the visitor experience.

4. Can I take photographs inside Tudor Place?

Photography is not allowed inside the house, but you are welcome to take photographs in the gardens and grounds. Be sure to check with the staff for any specific photography guidelines during your visit.

5. Is Tudor Place accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Tudor Place strives to provide accessibility for all visitors. The grounds and gardens are wheelchair accessible, and the first floor of the house is accessible via a ramp. However, due to the historic nature of the building, some areas may have limited accessibility. It is recommended to contact Tudor Place in advance to discuss any specific accessibility requirements.


Tudor Place, the oldest home in Washington DC, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Its historical significance, stunning architecture, and rich collections make it a must-see attraction for visitors to the nation’s capital. From the grand red brick exterior to the meticulously preserved interiors, Tudor Place allows visitors to immerse themselves in the early days of the United States. Whether you’re a history buff or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to Tudor Place is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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