In the middle of the hustle and bustle of D.C., the Summerhouse is an otherworldly retreat into peace and quiet.
Whether you're looking for a good place to take a quick lunch break, a somewhat-sheltered spot to wait out a storm, or a private spot to sit and cry for a bit, we've got the perfect thing—and it's easy to find. Located on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, the Summerhouse is a beautiful, peaceful haven in the middle of a hectic city.
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The Summerhouse was the brainchild of Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect that Congress employed to improve the Capitol grounds back in 1874. The hexagonal brick structure was a part of Olmstead's improvement plan because he wanted to improve the visitors' experience after he heard complaints that there was no place to rest or get any water on the grounds.
Inside the Summerhouse, you can rest for a bit on stone benches resting in the shade, take in the decorative niches beside the oval windows, and admire the fountain in the center of the structure. And behind the wrought-iron grille of the third window, you'll see a small grotto where a stream of water flows over some rocks. It's like D.C.'s very own oasis.
Each of the three doorways offers a different view of the grounds: one looks up the hill at the Capitol, one faces the National Mall (in the distance), and one looks at a hedge.
Have you been to the Summerhouse? What did you think of it? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!