Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail

Follow the signs on this self guided Cultural Tourism DC Neighborhood Heritage Trail to learn more about the rich military and political history of Capitol Hill's Barracks Row.

Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail's 16 poster-sized, illustrated signs combine storytelling with historic images to let you discover the history of this neighborhood.

The first sign is located at the Eastern Market Metro station plaza (Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE). The 90-minute, self-guided tour proceeds down Eighth Street, loops through the residential neighborhood, and ends at Eastern Market.

Walkers are encouraged to follow the trail at their own pace, sampling neighborhood character, businesses, and restaurants along the way.

For more information, email us at or call 202-355-4280.

Please note: When planning your visit please note that Sign 8 (Eighth and L Streets, SE) is temporarily down.

From Sign 7 continue south on Eighth Street, crossing L Street to reach Sign 9.


When celebrated composer John Philip Sousa walked the streets of Barracks Row, people called this neighborhood Capitol Hill-Navy Yard.

U.S. Marines and the U.S. Navy gave the community its unique flavor. Here Washington's oldest and largest industrial plant – the Navy Yard with its ship-testing facilities and massive gun factories – attracted laborers, engineers, sailors, and civilians for more than a century.

These residents developed businesses, churches, synagogues, and institutions that continue to support today's community. We invite you to experience today's thriving Barracks Row in the company of its lively past.

Along the way, you'll see:

  • March King John Philip Sousa's birthplace and training ground
  • The oldest continuously manned Marine installation in the nation
  • The home of the first woman White House correspondent, Emily Edson Briggs
  • Washington City's oldest Episcopal congregation. Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams were worshippers.


Download the trail map PDF.

Download the trail guidebook PDF.

Download the Spanish-language trail guidebook PDF.


Cultural Tourism DC, Inc., initiated the District of Columbia Neighborhood Heritage Trails program with two goals in mind: helping visitors find their way around Washington's historic neighborhoods and promoting community pride.

Each trail was conceived with the active involvement of neighborhood organizations and residents. For Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail, Barracks Row Main Street and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society served as local partners. Kim Prothro Williams served as working group historian.

Tour of Duty: Barracks Row Heritage Trail is a project of Cultural Tourism DC in collaboration with Barracks Row Main Street and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society. Funding was provided by the Department of Housing and Community Development, District Department of Transportation, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and U.S. Department of Transportation. Additional cooperation provided by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.


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