Judging Museums – Woodrow Wilson House


The Woodrow Wilson House is located at 2340 S Street, NW. I happened to stumble upon it during last weekend’s Dupont/Kalorama museum walk. Yeah, I should’ve posted about the museum walk last weekend but I didn’t know about it, I just randomly ran into it! It was pretty sweet though, did anyone else check it out? In front of the Wilson House there was even free coffee.


So about the Wilson House, their Web site says:

“The Woodrow Wilson House is a national historic landmark and house museum that focuses on President Woodrow Wilson’s “Washington Years (1912-1924)”. The museum promotes a greater awareness of Wilson’s public life and ideals for future generations through guided tours, exhibitions and educational programs. The museum also serves as a community preservation model and resource, dedicated to the stewardship and presentation of an authentic collection and property.”

It also bills itself as “Washington’s only Presidential Museum”. That’s pretty interesting in and of itself. So any fans of this spot? Is it a must visit?


Hours :
10 am – 4 pm, Tuesday – Sunday.
Closed Mondays, and Major Holidays.
Group tours by reservation with at least 3 day’s notice.

$7.50 Adults; $6.50 Seniors; $3.00 Students
Under age 7 free

12 Comment

  • I went there and the Textile Museum over the weekend.

    Maybe I’m spoiled by all the free museums in DC, but I don’t think the regular entrance fee is worth it. Or maybe the regular tour experience is better than the free weekend. There were only four rooms open to the public, and no information was really available about them. No tour guides or printed material posted in the rooms. The docents answered a few specific questions but mostly they just pointed guests to the giftshop where they could buy something.

    Most of what is on display are artifacts left behind by his wife. The president’s effects are part of the collection owned by the National Archives, and are on display at the presidential library in Hyde Park.

    The garden was nice. The Textile Museum was also very nice. They had sheep in their garden.

  • Urgent! Where did that Peet’s come from, where did it go, and when will it be back? How dare they tease me with the prospect of an actual Peet’s store in the vicinity of DC.

  • I went with a friend to the Metropolis exhibit at the Meridian International Center (also part of the Dupont/Kalorama free weekend) off of 16th Street. It was a super cool exhibit of current Chinese artists, and I recommend it to all.

  • I do think more of the Woodrow Wilson House is open when you go on a regular (paid) tour, as opposed to the museum walk. The one time I went, I thought it was pretty and moderately interesting, but I think it would be more enjoyable for fans of period homes than for history buffs. The Textile Museum, on the other, I really liked.

  • Agreed, the real story here is Peet’s! Tell me this is promo for a future store.

  • PEETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who cares about the museum, how oh how did they set up a Peet’s stand? How do we get a Peet’s in DC? OH man, I’m salivating now. 6p.m. and I’m dying for a Pete’s espresso.

  • Wilson House is awesome. Great, incredibly knowledgeable docents. And I’m the type to get sleepy at historical museums. Recommend.

  • Prince, please tell me you visited The Textile Museum as well! It’s a gem in this city! And yes, the Woodrow Wilson House gives tours that are much more informative than an open house. I would recommend going once, just to go.

  • Is “Washington’s only Presidential Museum” accurate? I thought Ford’s Theatre’s full handle was the “Ford’s Theatre and Lincoln Museum”?

  • Peet’s is apparently considering moving into the DC area. Their coffee stand was a test to see what kind of response they got. Guess it’s pretty favorable!! BTW, isn’t Hyde Park an FDR site? Nothing to do with Wilson whose primary artifacts are all at Wilson House (only his books, papers and Nobel Peace Prize are at Library of Congress).

  • Yes, Anon 3:15 is mistaken. Hyde Park is FDR, and the Wilson Library is actually in Staunton, VA. The Wilson House contains a great deal of artifacts from his presidency. In fact, it is unique in that Wilson was the last president who was permitted to keep his state gifts received while in office (when Harding was in office the law was changed to make those gifts property of the United States). So if there are any World War One historians out there, it is interesting to see the gifts he received from heads of state during the war and the LoN meetings. He’s also unique in that he retired to DC and as such, had the ability to take a lot with him. His cars are also still in the garage and are beautiful. I would suggest going on the tour on a day when it’s not free. Unfortunately I can’t speak to the quality of the tour (the only time I went, a friend of a friend opened it up on a day they were closed and gave me a private tour, which I imagine was a little more in depth). But Wilson’s study is beautiful and very interesting. As an historian by education, in my opinion it is worth seeing for history buffs and period house enthusiasts.

  • Woodrow Wilson House is a National Trust Historic Site, same with Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home.

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