Post Office Clock Tower Reopens For Public Tours

Clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Shane Goad)

Visitors to downtown Washington, DC now have a new way to enjoy the skyline of the nation’s capital.

The National Park Service (NPS) has resumed tours of the clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion. Tours were discontinued in early 2014 as work began on the $200 million construction project to convert the former post office to what is now Trump International Hotel.

The tower will undoubtedly become a popular destination for those hoping to enjoy breathtaking views of the District. Visitors commonly flock to the Washington Monument to enjoy majestic views from its 500-foot observation deck. The monument, hampered by frequent short-term closures in recent years, is expected to remain closed for repairs until early 2019.

A visitor I spoke with says the tower seemed like the best alternative to the Washington Monument. “This is the fifth time I’ve been here and it’s been closed off every time,” she said. She learned of the tower’s reopening on Twitter before adding it to the itinerary of a group of 48 students and parents visiting from Mississippi.

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The 315-foot clock tower is operated by NPS, which offers free tours to the public between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday thru Sunday. Visitors are advised to arrive by 4:30 p.m. to be granted access to the tower. Tower guests can enter the tower from the rear (south side) of the hotel through an entrance off of 12th Street.

Visitors will also see exhibits detailing the history of the post office pavilion, where construction was completed in 1899.