Historic Alleyways in Washington, DC

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* Tour is held select Sundays - Check website for exact dates. The Alleyways of DC served a distinct purpose as a city planning feature, but they also provided a hidden safe space where escaped enslaved people and the poor could find inexpensive housing and live their lives away from prying eyes. While city officials condemned life in the alleyways as dangerous, dirty and diseased, they were in fact a place where communities sustained each other and provided security. This fascinating tour takes you through the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court historic district near the Convention Center.

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

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Blanche K. Bruce was the first African American to serve a full term as Senator, and rose to his position during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War. The tour starts as the location of his residence while he was serving his Senatorial term.

Duration: 10 minutes

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Blagden Alley is one of DC's most well-preserved historic alleyways. Once the subject of a study of DC alleyways, it is now the site of art galleries, hidden-away restaurants and coffee shops.

Duration: 30 minutes

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The tour makes a pit stop at this popular coffee spot.

Duration: 15 minutes

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Beginning in 2015, a series of works were commissioned by artists with a history in the Shaw neighborhood and in Blagden Alley — They created a stunning display of new works painted directly on the garage doors of several buildings in Bladgen Alley.

Duration: 5 minutes

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Naylor Court is a former site of alleyway stables, and later old fashioned garages. It is a part of the Blagden Alley - Naylor Court Historic District.

Duration: 30 minutes
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