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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
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The Urban Geology of the National Mall

In-Person Program

Full Day Tour

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1ND005
Select Your Tickets
$95 - Member
$125 - Non-Member

Materials for this program

  1. COVID Guidance for In-Person Tours
  2. Handout

Arts and Industries Building

Please Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed, including but not limited to masks on the bus and indoors.

Washington, D.C.’s National Mall provides a world-class showcase for a diverse collection of American architectural styles, landscape design and use—and building stones. Join Kenneth Rasmussen, a professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College, on a 3-mile walking tour that views structures on the Mall built from igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock formed during roughly 3.5 billion years of Earth’s history and erected during 220 years of American history.

Rasmussen discusses the rocks’ origin, age, and significance, as well as the engineering, aesthetic, and political reasons for their selection and placement. He sets the Mall’s evolution in geological and architectural context and traces roughly 230 years of design in buildings and monuments created from 1791 to the present, including recent flood-mitigation efforts in view of projected sea-level rise.

Enjoy a picnic box lunch on the Mall around 1 p.m., weather permitting.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
  • The tour meets aat the Constitution Avenue (north) side of the National Museum of American History, near the fountains.
  • The tour includes significant standing and walking; lunch is included.
  • For additional tour information:

Inside Science

Tour meets outside the National Museum of
American History (Constitution Ave side)
near the fountains