THING TO DO

Step Into the Past at DAR Constitution Hall

Exterior of Constitution Hall in Neoclassical style, made of limestone. Photo circa 1980s.
Constitution Hall serves as the headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Photo taken by Carol Highsmith. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Founded in 1890, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) needed a national headquarters as the organization grew in size. They commissioned architect John Russell Hope to construct Constitution Hall in 1928. Hope was famous for designing the National Archives Building, the National Gallery of Art, and the Jefferson Memorial.

Constitution Hall features a grand auditorium that holds almost 4,000 people. In the years since the building’s completion, it has welcomed a host of cultural performers, including bands, choirs, singers, pianists, lecturers, entertainers, athletes, comedians, and more.

Members of the DAR have been active in historic preservation efforts since the late-nineteenth century. In addition to preserving historic buildings, the DAR also cares for a wide variety of artifacts that can be viewed at the museum located inside of Constitution Hall. The museum features temporary exhibits as well as over 30 period rooms where visitors can take a peek into the past.

Contemporary photograph of the Renwick Gallery designed in Second Empire style with mansard roof and ornamental massing.
Renwick Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Photo by Carol Highsmith. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Explore More!

While you’re in the area, stroll over to the Renwick Gallery (a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum), located at the corner of 17 St. and Pennsylvania Ave. Designed by James Renwick Jr., the building was constructed in 1859 as a private art gallery. In the early 1960s, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy led efforts save the building from demolition. It is now open to the public and features both permanent and visiting exhibits.

Sources:

https://www.nps.gov/places/constitution-hall-and-marian-anderson.htm
https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/4a2413c0-9aa7-4634-9bc8-21580849a487/
https://www.dar.org/
https://americanart.si.edu/about/history/renwick-architecture

Details
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

Last updated: June 26, 2018