. . . stopped at the Octagon. Tucked in among the uninspiring homes of the IMF and FDIC, this 18th-century pied-à-terre plays a perfect host to the ever-changing exhibits of a museum of architecture and design. Even better are the home's own stories: The Madisons moved in after the White House was burned in the War of 1812, and the Treaty of Ghent was signed in the upstairs parlor. There's so much history here, some say, that the house is haunted by it.
One thing to ponder as you wander the Octagon: its name. It has just six sides.
(Robert C. Lautman)
1799 New York Ave. NW; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors. For details, call 202-638-3221 or go to www.archfoundation.org/octagon.
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