The William Penn House
515 East Capitol Street
I thought I would take a moment to comment on my current digs. The William Penn house is a Quaker Meeting House and hostel located in the Capitol Hill area of Washington DC. It was founded in 1966 and quickly became a center for coordinating non-violent strategies for all the major demonstrations and rallies that swept Washington DC in the 60's and 70's. That kind of historic credibility really impresses me.
Today the William Penn house is still a center for peace and community involvement. However, it is also a hostel that can accommodate nearly 30 visitors. I spent a week here in November 2010. Originally, I came here for the rally to restore sanity and/or fear on 10/30/10, then I fell in love and decided to just stay for awhile.
To begin with the William Penn house has one of the best locations in DC. Only 5 blocks from the Capitol on East Capitol Street, it is within easy walking distance of; Union station, The Capitol, The Mall, Eastern Market, and the Barracks Row area.
Eastern market is 2 blocks over and 2 blocks south at 7th Street and independence. There are lots of
Portrait of William Penn above the fireplace
little shops and restaurants in this area and a great farmers market on the weekends. The entrance to Barracks Row is only one more block over and one more block south at 8th Street and Pennsylvania. Barracks Row has even MORE restaurants and shops. So within about six blocks of walking you can find just about anything to eat and/or buy. The Eastern Market Metro station is conveniently located at 7th street and Pennsylvania. The Metro is the easiest way to travel throughout the city.
Heading the opposite direction, The Capitol is located just 5 blocks away. The Mall with everything in it, (Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery, etc.), is just on the other side of the Capitol.
The staff at the William Penn house are friendly and knowledgeable. If you need to know something, just ask them, they are always glad to help. The accommodations are communal and hostel basic. However, the place is kept very clean and the staff are always around. No smoking, drinking, or drugs are allowed in the house, which was fine with me. If you need smoking, drinking, or drugs that badly it may be time to reconsider your lifestyle choices. =) They
515 East Capitol
William Penn House
charge $5 a day for internet access. I found that to be a reasonable charge for the convenience. Otherwise, there is a coffeehouse with free internet 4 blocks away at 7th Street and Independence.
Breakfast is served from 8 to 9 every morning. It is a good quality breakfast consisting of; coffee, orange juice, milk, tea, oatmeal, cereals, toast, jams and peanut butter. I enjoyed it. The kitchen is off limits at all times. However the dining room is always open. There is water, coffee, and tea available at any hour.
I don't think you can find a better value in the greater Washington DC area. I paid between $40 and $45 a night with breakfast. That price is per bed and they have 4 bed and 8 bed bedrooms on offer. If you need a lot of privacy, then hostels like this one may not be for you. However, if you are used to hosteling then this is a good one.
Economical, in a super quiet neighborhood, close to attractions, restaurants, and shopping, with a hearty breakfast included. The William Penn house is a little slice of the Peaceable Kingdom in downtown Washington DC.
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