The Octagon Museum is one of the best examples I have seen of an historic home preserved for the sake of education. If you are deeply interested in architecture and the decorative arts, preservation of the built environment, nineteenth century America, and African American history, I highly recommend the Octagon Museum. The rooms are sparsely furnished and there is quite a bit of information in the form of hand-outs and strategically placed cards that allow visitors to conduct their own self-guided tours. The attention given to the lives of the enslaved persons who lived and worked in the Octagon House and how their labor contributed to the lifestyles of the Tayloe family is particularly commendable.
This is not a museum to visit if your tastes run more toward Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Nineteenth Century Edition or if you and your children want to be entertained. The Octagon Museum cannot be called "fun" by any stretch of the imagination. It is a place for reflection on our collective past and what we can see if we stop to really look at our environment and interpret it properly.
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