Scandals in the City

Scandals in the City

Do you find yourself binge watching House of Cards on Netflix? Perhaps you aspire to be one fifth of Pope and Associates. If you agreed with either of these statements, please continue reading.


One requirement while attending The Washington Center is to participate in a weekly college course of your choice. As a student, budgeted living is part of your everyday life. In Washington D.C. you may constantly have a hankering to tour the city and learn about its history. I must tell you, if you are enticed by the shocking stories of the Nation’s Capital, try to take “Scandalous Washington” and as early as possible. Not only will you potentially receive college credit for this course but it is also a fantastic way sightsee without the heavy financial burden of guided walking tours.


Our class has been running a bit behind schedule due to the outrageous weather we have been having but what we have done so far has been beyond what I expected. Our first meeting was held in the RAF, (Residential Academic Facility) which also exceeded my expectations, but I will discuss that at a later date. We first learned about Marvin Gay’s relationship to the D.C. area, a brief history behind the placement and design of the city and also some fun facts about our fellow classmates.


Photo courtesy of The National Park Service

Octagon House (Picture Courtesy of


Our second meeting was the following Saturday, which began with the Octagon House, the first “mansion” within the District of Columbia owned by Colonel Tayloe. The home was the Presidential Mansion for a short period after the White House was burned during the War of 1812. It is also one of the most haunted homes in all of D.C.. Legend has it that Colonel Tayloe may have been involved in the death of two of his daughters and one slave girl inside the home. It is these three individuals who supposedly haunt the house. Strange occurrences such as a mysterious candle light floating up the stair case, banging on the walls when the house is completely empty, the sound of a bell ringing that does not exist and an inexplicable stain that appears and disappears at the foot of the staircase. I personally, will be avoiding that house at night to say the least…


Taken by: Nicole M. Decker

Revolutionary War Major General Comte de Rochambeau


Continuing through the streets surrounding Lafayette Square, we stopped every once in a while to have the very knowledgeable Professor Gueli could point out buildings and give us the juicy gossip linked to them. My favorite building in particular was the Eisenhower Executive Offices (pictured below), which to me, seems like a remarkably beautiful building but apparently has been the victim of some serious hatred over the years. The building has been on the chopping block numerous times, and was nearly demolished twice because it was “so ugly”. The man who built it even took his life because it was such a failure at the time. Hard to believe, if you ask me.


Photo taken by Nicole M. Decker

Eisenhower Executive Office Building


We continued through the area, into the Willard Intercontinental a beautiful and historic hotel and completed morning at the Freedom Plaza, dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., and additionally contains a time capsule filled with documents and other relics of Dr. King's buried in the late 1980's.


Image courtesy of Google Images

Lobby of the Willard Intercontinental Hotel


I can continue on and list all the landmarks we have visited and so far and the stories behind them, all very scandalous, but I don't want to give too much away! Take the course to find out the rest. As always, I will continue to keep you informed and on budget,



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