This historic Capitol Hill building, formerly called the Sewall-Belmont House, has served as the National Women’s Party’s headquarters since 1929. Today visitors can explore its fine art, books, political cartoons, textiles, and other artifacts made mostly by and about women that tell the story of the ongoing fight for women’s rights.
The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in Washington DC aims to inspire future generations with its wealth of little-known facts and information about the country’s women’s rights movement. The museum’s permanent collection details the National Women’s Party’s efforts to advance equality and women’s rights, while its temporary exhibits highlight individuals who have influenced the movement. And its Florence Bayard Hilles Feminist Library, founded in 1943, is the oldest feminist library in the US. The museum offers free daily tours of its collection and exhibits; the library is visitable by appointment only.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is ideal for history and women’s equality fans.
- Entrance to the museum is free.
- To visit the library, arrange an appointment in advance.
- The monument is accessible to wheelchair users; enter on 2nd Street.
How to Get There
The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is located in Capitol Hill, across the street from the US Supreme Court. It is easily reachable by bus, Metrorail, or foot. The nearest metro stops are Capitol Hill South (on the orange, blue, and silver lines) and Union Station (on the red line); each is about a 10-minute walk from the museum. If driving, there is limited street parking near the museum and an underground garage near Union Station a few blocks away.
When to Get There
The monument is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm; tours are typically offered at 9:30am, 11am, 2pm, and 3:30pm. The Florence Bayard Hilles Feminist Library is open by appointment only.
Florence Bayard Hilles Feminist Library
The Florence Bayard Hilles Feminist Library is the first of its kind in the United States. Designed by female architect Elise Dupont in the early 1940s, the library—which is dedicated to works about the fight for women’s rights and equality—was an essential resource for the Women’s Rights Movement. It fell into disrepair in the 1960s, but in 1998 the library was rededicated and has since undergone painstaking restoration and cataloging. Today the library still houses a rare collection of works detailing the story for women’s rights in the US, and is an ongoing resource for researchers and scholars interested in suffrage and equality for women.