Frequently Asked Questions
Hosting an event at the Decatur House
Q: What is the parking situation at Decatur House for events?
A: Due to the prime location downtown (one block from the White House on Lafayette Square & H Street, NW), Decatur House does not have its own facility to offer to event guests. However, several garages are located within walking distance of the museum. Street parking is another option and is used often and easily, especially on weekends or after 6:30 p.m. on weekday evenings. Decatur House is also easily accessible via metro: one block south of Farragut West (blue & orange lines) and two blocks south of Farragut North (red line). Valet companies can also be contracted if you desire and are listed on our Preferred Vendors List.
Q: What do the Rental Fees include?
A. When renting Decatur House for your special event, private use of the property and the option to entertain in the Carriage House, Courtyard and/or the Historic House are included in the fees.
The rental fees, outlined in the Rates section, include the site rental, private touring of Decatur House, and two-three on-site Special Event Coordinators to answer your guests questions and to ensure your event runs smoothly from set-up through clean-up.
The rental fees do not include provisions for catering, tenting, valet parking or rental equipment (tables, chairs, etc.). For your convenience, Decatur House maintains a list of Preferred Vendors to ensure clients can easily select what we consider to be the finest service providers.
Q: How do I contract Decatur House for my event, and what is the payment schedule?
A: To contract Decatur House for your special event, please contact the Director of Special Events at (202) 218-4333, who will ask you to complete a rental application. At the signing of the event contract, one-half (1/2) of the rental fee, a $100-$200 endowment fee, and a $600 refundable security deposit will be due. The remaining rental fees are due one (1) month prior to your event date.
Q: May I have amplified music at my event?
A: Decatur House has limited restrictions on amplified music, and welcomes bands or DJs to entertain your guests in the Carriage House, or outside in the Courtyard. Because our event curfew is midnight, we do ask that the last dance take place no later than 11:30 p.m. to prepare for you and your guests departure. Amplified music in the Historic House is not allowed.
Q: Am I required to use a caterer from your Preferred Vendor List?
A: While Decatur House highly recommends choosing your caterer from our Preferred Vendors List, we do make exceptions. Full-service catering companies that are not on the Preferred Vendor List must furnish the Director of Special Events with a copy of its business license and insurance policy, as well as a list of references in order to determine whether they may provide services at Decatur House.
Q: What hotels are in walking distance to Decatur House?
A: While this list is by no means exhaustive, many Decatur House clients choose to hold rooms at The Mayflower Hotel, The Hay-Adams Hotel, St. Regis, Capital Hilton, the Grand Hyatt, The Sofitel Lafayette Square and the W Washington, D.C. To search for these and more hotels located near Decatur House, visit the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporations web site at washington.org.