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Tours of Treasury Facilities

My family would like to take a tour the Treasury Building. When are tours conducted?

Tours of the Main Treasury Building are available by advanced reservation through your Congressional offices. For more information on tours and reservations, visit the Treasury Curator web site. Also, please visit our "Virtual Tour" to view some of the historic spaces and decorative art.

The Main Treasury Building is the third oldest building in Washington, and dates from 1836. In 1833, Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, was commissioned to design a new Treasury Building after the previous two Treasury structures were destroyed by fire. Mills' T-shaped building is noted for the grand colonnade, sweeping across the entire expanse of the structure. Each of the 30 columns is 36 feet tall and carved from a single block of granite. Subsequent wings were added from 1855 to 1869, all retaining the Greek Revival influence of the Mills design.

Through the years, this impressive structure became increasingly obscured by neglect and modernization. Realizing its historical significance, the Treasury restoration program, which began in 1985 with private contributions, has returned the building to its former glory. Thanks to the dedication and foresight of the people involved in this restoration, the site of important historical events in our nation's history has been preserved for future generations.

The offices of Salmon P. Chase, who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Civil War, along with the suite of offices used by President Andrew Johnson following Abraham Lincoln's assassination, now look much as they did during the mid-1800's. Paint analysis revealed the original colors of the rooms, while meticulous research and original invoices offered valuable clues to the furnishings and decor.

The striking marble Cash Room sparkles again today as it did on the night of Ulysses S. Grant's inaugural reception in 1869. Also the conserved portraits of former Treasury Secretaries peer from their gilded frames onto the stately corridors where golden eagles perch regally atop cast iron columns.

This is only a sample of the history and stories which fill the halls of this building. We urge you to come, explore and learn more about the Treasury Building, a historical gem in our Nation's capital. You can find out more about dates, times and reservations for tours of the Main Treasury Building.

I want to see how money is made. Is this the right tour for me?

No. Many times when people ask about tours of the Treasury Department, they really want to know about the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). This is the Treasury division responsible for the design and manufacture of U.S. currency, postage stamps, Treasury obligations and other U.S. securities.

The beginning of the Treasury Department's responsibility for actually engraving and printing of United States paper currency began on August 29, 1861 in the basement of the Main Treasury Building. This is where two men and four women separated and sealed by hand $1 and $2 United States notes printed by private bank note companies. The BEP began printing all revenue stamps in 1894, and by October 1, 1877, it produced all United States currency. In 1880, an Act of Congress authorized the construction of the BEP facility. It was completed in 1914, and the Annex across the street was completed in 1936. We have a fact sheet on-line that explains more about tours of the BEP's Washington D.C. facility.

More information on this tour is available on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's Tours page.

Are tours available of any other Treasury facilities?

Yes. Tours are available of the United States Mint production facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Denver, Colorado. More information on these tours is available on the US Mint's Tours page.

I will be going to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. What can you tell me about tours of the United States Mint's production facility in Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia Mint conducts tours Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. To arrange a tour please contact your Member of Congress. There is no admission charge. For more information, please call (215) 408-0112.

This facility manufactures United States coins for general circulation. It also produces uncirculated coins, commemorative coins, national medals, and gold bullion coins. On the tour, visitors will see exhibits of coins, medals and old minting equipment and will learn about the Mint's history and see the actual coin factory.

The lobby features a round display of all the commemorative coin designs issued since 1892. The lobby is also filled with Tiffany mosaics on the walls. Each scene shows how coins were made in ancient times. Here visitors can also buy coins, medals and other items, and even use a medal press to make their own Philadelphia Mint medal as a souvenir.

The mezzanine level contains the original coining press used at the first Mint facility in 1792. There are also Mint artifacts from the 18th Century to today. Finally, visitors end their tour in the David Rittenhouse Room where they can see a brilliant collection of gold coins.

For further assistance please feel free to visit the US Mint's website for detailed information on our tours: Philadelphia Mint Information.

I will be going to Denver, Colorado. What can you tell me about tours of the United States Mint's production facility in Denver?

Tours are conducted in the between 9 a.m. - 12 noon, Monday - Friday. To arrange a tour please contact your Member of Congress. For additional information, please call (303) 405-4765 or (303) 405-4761.

Denver Mint produces United States coins for circulation. On a daily basis, approximately 32 million coins of all denominations are produced. Visitors view that various steps used in the minting of United States coins, including stamping presses which can stamp up to 530 coins per minute with four dies. The Denver Mint is one of the three gold depositories in the United States, along with Fort Knox and West Point. The tour includes a display of six gold bars. Numismatic items and coin sets are available at the end of the tour. Medals produced by the United States Mint, Lithographs, and Mint history are also for sale and on display.

For further assistance please feel free to visit the US Mint's website for detailed information on our tours: Denver Mint Information.

I want to see the United States' gold reserves. What can you tell me about visiting the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox?

Unfortunately, for security reasons, no tours are permitted at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository.

Last Updated: 8/2/2011 10:03 AM