October 23 – U.S. State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms (ONP #296)

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Fancy schmancy outing today—a visit to the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. State Department building here in Washington D.C—one of the items on my ONP bucket list for the year!

Designed to impress, these rooms do—with classic eighteenth-century decor and furnishings intended to remind visitors (foreign diplomats and local tourists alike) of the Spirit of 1776 and the nation’s founding. It’s all George Washington this, and Thomas Jefferson that, with soupçons of John Hancock, James Madison and Ben Franklin thrown in. My favorite item was a little silver pitcher made by Paul Revere (my childhood hero!)

The rooms host a lot of events for visiting dignitaries. Indeed, you can often see them on TV as the background for announcements, signings, photo-ops with foreign leaders, etc. As we were there, caterers were setting up a large room with pink faux-marble pillars for some event…..that I was not invited to. I’m sure there was some oversight. . .


Pro tip: The tours of these rooms are free, but you have to sign up in advance at the State Department website. Although the website says you need to schedule about 60 days out, I was able to get in within a week. The guide who did our tour was great and very knowledgable.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. Enjoy!