Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C.

Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C. (must see)

Ford’s Theatre is where President Abraham Lincoln was shot while viewing a theatrical performance on April 14, 1865. However, this building did not start out as a theatre. It was built in 1833 to house the First Baptist Church of Washington. The church used the building until 1861 when they moved to a new building. John Ford bought the building and with renovations, turned it into a theater. The building was destroyed by fire in 1862 and soon rebuilt.

The newly built Ford’s Theater opened in August of 1863. It was huge and had seating for over 2,000 theater patrons. On that fateful April day, President Lincoln, his wife and a group of friends, went to the theater to see Our American Cousin. The country was still feeling the keen sting of the Civil War; in fact, General Lee had surrendered less that one week before. John Wilkes Booth, feeling anger at the loss of the Confederacy, entered the Presidential box and shot the President in the head. President Lincoln died the next day at a home across the street from the theater, the Petersen House.

Congress reacted to the assassination of President Lincoln by purchasing the theater and passing a law that the building could never again be used as a theater. The government then used the building for various purposes such as storage and office space. In 1893 part of the building collapsed killing 22 people. The fire, assassination and building collapse made some believe the building was cursed. Repairs were made to the building and it was used until 1931.

In the 1940s there was recognition that a very valuable historical legacy was being lost. It was not until 1955 that Congress passed a bill that the theater could be restored. In 1968, Ford’s Theater was once again opened as a theater. Today both the theater and the Petersen House are preserved together as a National Historic Site at 511 10th Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

Tip:
Sit in the back of the theater; that way, when they open the door to the Peterson House across the street you can be one of the first in line.
Both the Peterson House and Ford's Theater have gift shops, with the former perhaps a better shop than the latter.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Washington D.C., USA within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ford's Theatre on Map

Sight Name: Ford's Theatre
Sight Location: Washington D.C., USA
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Washington D.C., USA

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Creating your own self-guided walk in Washington D.C. is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
History Museums Tour

History Museums Tour

Washington D.C. is well-known for its world-class museums. The Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex in the world, maintains most of the official museums in Washington, D.C. and the entrance is free of charge. Explore some of the most outstanding ones by taking this walking tour.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 Km or 3.8 Miles
Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown is an area located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River waterfront. Despite its proximity to downtown Washington, this former port has preserved its own distinct character. Many of the buildings along the tree-lined streets are over 200 years old. Take this walking tour to reveal all the secrets of Georgetown.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Historic Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a city of historic memorials and monuments that commemorate key chapters in American history. They are dedicated to all the noteworthy generals, politicians, statesmen and artists who played a major role in shaping the American nation. This walking tour will offer you a glimpse into the history of the U.S.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Art Galleries and Museums Tour

Looking for inspiring and notable art venues? Washington D.C. is well-appreciated for the wide range of art museums and galleries that it offers. Take this self-guided tour and discover the treasures hidden by these art institutions.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles
Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a federal district and serves as the permanent national capital. It is is filled with important and memorable places to visit. Most of the nation's monuments and federal buildings can be found in the downtown of the city. The following walking tour will guide you to the most significant federal buildings in Washington D.C.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 Km or 3.9 Miles
Washington D.C. Introduction Walk

Washington D.C. Introduction Walk

Washington D.C, capital of the United States, is a cocktail of politics, cosmopolitan energy and multiculturalism manifested in a thriving and diverse dining, nightlife and shopping setting. The city is renowned for its historic neighborhoods, world-class museums, memorials, beautiful gardens and arts venues. Take this self-guided walk and discover the city which defines some of the greatest...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles

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