- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2000

Location:

The Old Post Office is at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Hours:

The tower is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Winter hours (from Labor Day to mid-April) run from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The 12th-floor observation deck is open to the elements and is closed in bad weather. On inclement days, visitors should call ahead.

Information:

Call 202/606-8691 for general information or 202/619-7222 for news on weather closings. The Web site is at www.nps.gov/opot. A number of special concerts and events are held in the building's pavilion. Call ahead for the schedule.

Cost:

Tours are free.

Tours:

Tours are conducted by National Park Service rangers every five minutes. Visitors are welcome to go on a self-guided tour of attractions on theninth and 10th floors.

Metro:

The Metro's Blue and Orange lines stop at the Federal Triangle station, which is directly across 12th Street. Buses run along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Parking:

Limited metered street parking is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, free all day on weekends and holidays. A number of commercial parking lots are nearby.

Food:

A wide variety of fast-food choices is available in the food court in the building's soaring pavilion. The area also offers a number of other dining choices, including the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.

Must see:


Don't miss the Congressional Bells on the building's 10th floor. The 10 bells were a bicentennial gift from Great Britain and were placed in the renovated building in 1983.
When changing elevators on the ninth floor, make a stop at the small historic gallery that chronicles the building's narrow escape from the demolition ball. A highlight of this mini-museum is a carved replica of the building that was crafted by a young Russian immigrant in 1908.

Avoid:


The observation deck is open to the elements and can be quite cold and windy. Be careful to dress accordingly.
A staircase connects the tower to the 10th floor. Nearly 100 narrow and steep stairs make it a strenuous climb for the very young or unfit. It's better to take the elevator to the top and then walk down.


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