Established in 1791, Fort McNair is the third oldest U.S. Army installation in continuous use, and is nationally significant in the fields of architecture, military history, military education, and health and medicine. In addition to its original use for defense of the city, it has also served as a penitentiary, barracks, hospital, and college. The penitentiary is significant as the site of the imprisonment and trial of the conspirators in President Lincoln’s assassination. Mary Surratt and three others were hanged in the prison courtyard on July 7, 1865.
With the birth of the Army War College in 1901, the post became the Army’s center for the education and training of senior officers. The entire installation was redesigned by the architecture firm of McKim, Mead, and White as a Beaux-Arts campus around the war college building on Greenleaf Point; this remains its primary character today. The post was renamed in 1948 to honor Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, commander of Army ground forces during World War II, who was headquartered at the post and killed in Normandy in 1944.
Join DCPL for this exculsive member-only tour of the buildings and campus of one of Washington’s most historically significant sites!
Space is Limited and Registration is Required.
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