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General Information

18th Century Engraving, Old Post Office Tower
Copyright: - US National Park Service
18th Century Engraving, Old Post Office Tower
Description - The Old Post Office is one of the last remaining examples of Richardsonian Romanesque Architecture in Washington, D.C. Dominant park feature is the spectacular view from the 270-foot tower observation level, which is one of the best of the nation's capital. The Old Post Office Tower is also home to the bells of the U.S. Congress. The Old Post Office is considered by many visitors as Washington's "hidden treasure."

Attractions - Tours of the Old Post Office Tower provide visitors with the history of the building, a view of the city from the 270-foot observation deck, and the opportunity to view the interior workings of the Tower clock and the bells of Congress. Park rangers are available to answer questions and give interpretive programs upon request throughout the year. Educational programs are available for school groups upon request. Public bell ringing demonstrations are held bi-annually by members of the Washington Ringing Society. Call for times and reservations.

The Old Post Office Tower has a exhibit room on the 9th floor with a hand carved model of the building, a touch screen, and historic photographs detailing the history of the building. There are also historic photographs located in the visitor greeting area on the stage level.

There are a number of eateries and restrooms located in the Pavilion at the Old Post Office.

Recreation - The Old Post Office Tower is open for tours during the late spring and summer from 8 AM - 10:45 PM. (Approximately April through Labor Day) Winter tours begin at 10 AM and end at 5:45 PM. The tours run approximately every five minutes, beginning at the glass elevator on the stage level of the Old Post Office Pavilion.

Note: The observation deck is exposed to the weather and the Tower may close in bad weather. The Old Post Office Tower is open year-round seven days a week except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Years Day. In addition, the Old Post Office Tower is closed every Thursday evening from 6:30 - 9:30 due to bell ringing practice. The Tower also closes for up to three hours on federal holidays for bell ringing and other special occasions as designated by Congress. The Tower may also close due to elevator maintenance and inclement weather. Call the Tower or visit the Old Post Office Tower web site to inquire as to when the bells will be rung or in case of bad weather.

Climate - Washington, D.C. experiences four distinct seasons. Winters can be bitterly cold or pleasantly mild while summers can be miserably hot and humid or agreeably warm. The average January temperature is 37 degrees F (3 degrees C). The average July temperature is 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year to visit the area, temperatures are mild with low humidity. Note: The Old Post Office Tower's observation deck is open to the weather.

Location - The Old Post Office is located at the southeast corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, N.W. Parking spaces are scarce in Washington, D.C. Limited on-street parking is available during non-rush times (9:30 AM -4:00 PM) on weekdays, and all day on weekends and holidays. Parking may be restricted during special events. Several commercial parking lots are located near the park.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Michael L. (Lafayette, IN)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is one of the best-kept secrets in Washington! The observation deck is 270 feet up, with big, open-air windows. You can see everything: the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, White House, everything. Be aware that they close for rain or snow, or high wind. Once you've been there and experienced how much wind there is that high up, you'll understand the need to close for inclement weather. The park rangers were very friendly and helpful. But the best part is that it's FREE!

More Information

Contact Information:
Old Post Office Tower, 900 Ohio Drive, SW , Washington, DC, 20242, Phone: 202-606-8691, Fax: 202-208-4618, TTY: 202-606-8694

Additional Information:
National Capital Parks-Central - The park system of the Nation's Capital comprises parks, parkways, and reservations in the District of Columbia.
National Historic Sites -

Old Post Office Tower - Official agency website.


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