Union Station had become the first mass of masonry erected under the plan for a metropolis of classical buildings, and its imperial facade together with the Capitol dominated the city.
The Capitol itself stood much as it does now, facing eastward, a tribute to one architect's belief in which direction the city would grow.
Because the long expansion of presidential power had not begun, Congress was Washington's focal point, and tourists, like the B.E.F, made the Hill their first stop.
For some it was also the last; the White House discouraged visitors, and there weren't many other attractions.
There were the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, with its new elevator (though youngsters still felt challenged by the 898 steps up).
The Botanical Gardens were open; so was the Folger Shakespeare Library.