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In the early 21st century, when the United States of America was divided into thirteen commonwealths, Washington, DC, the Pre-War capital city of the U.S., became part of the Columbia Commonwealth, along with Virginia and Maryland.


Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial stands in ruins, the seated statue of Lincoln missing its head (The head is located in the Temple of the Union). Sand bags have been set up around the memorial, suggesting that it was once used as a tactical position during a firefight.[1] The head may be restored after following a quest given at the Temple of the Union by Hannibal Hamlin who leads a small unit of escaped slaves that are trying to create a haven for other runaway slaves.

Washington Monument

The obelisk that is the Washington Monument now has a fence made of scrap surrounding it, and shows signs of occupation by a military unit. The monument's sandstone and marble has fallen off at many places and reveal its internal metal structure. The bronze statue of George Washington has disappeared from the lobby, nowhere to be found. It also houses the Galaxy News Radio dish on top of the building.

Museum of History

The Museum of History remains largely untouched except for general decay and trash can fires. Old posters for the Space exhibit still hang. A woolly mammoth statue sits in the center untouched by time or the Great War, but the headless skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was not so fortunate; other dinosaur bones litter the area, reminders of another dominant species wiped out by a great cataclysm.[2] And, due to the decaying ruins, three of the four exhibits entryways are blocked, including the WWII, the Anchorage Reclamation and the Resource Wars, leaving only the Abraham Lincoln exhibit fully intact. Further inside the museum, the player can find the Underworld, a city largely populated by ghouls. If you explore any other parts of the Museum, you will find Lincoln's artifacts, the Lincoln Memorial poster, and dozens of feral ghouls.

Museum of Technology

A dilapidated shell of its former glory, the Museum of Technology lies in ruin. The Wright brothers' Flyer has fallen, its wings broken, and a faded old Vault-Tec banner hangs nearby. A monument to man's pride and achievement, set amid the result,[3] and is currently occupied by super mutants. The Virgo II Lander is here, several Stealth Boys, and plaques about several missing artifacts, many of which were weaponry presumably appropriated for use in the Wasteland.

The Capitol Building

An original sketch of the Capitol building.

The Capitol Building still stands, barely, with its walls showing heavy damage and the majestic dome partially destroyed. It is still a battleground between Talon Company and the super mutants who struggle for control. Burning rubble and bodies lie everywhere along with equipment that long ago was used to repair this place of government. This concept art appeared on CNN and was said to be drawn by a terrorist and this is what he wanted Washington D.C. to look like.[4]

Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial sketch.

The Jefferson Memorial was converted to a water filtering facility with very large water pipes obstructing the main entrance. A smaller side entrance to the gift shop is open toward the west. This is used as a base for Project Purity, which seeks to provide clean water to the entire Capital Wasteland. At the end of the Take it Back! quest, you must either enter, allow Sarah Lyons to enter, or allow the entire chamber to explode. If you enter, you have to put the code 216 into the keypad and you will wake up two weeks later at the Citadel if you have the Broken Steel DLC. You may also choose to send one of your companion's in to activate Project Purity. If Sarah Lyons goes in, the result will be the same however Sarah will not wake up until the end of the Who Dares Wins quest (this will happen even if the player or a companion activates Project Purity). You can place the mutated FEV in a part of the purifier. This will kill anyone infected with any form of mutation (Wastelanders, ghouls, and Super mutants alike).

White House

The White House is also a location on the map, though it is nothing more than a massive crater at this point, but it has a Fat Man and several mini-nukes located in it.

The Mall

The Mall is the location between the Museum of Technology, Museum of History, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Capitol Building. The Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial are on the far ends, the Washington Monument near the center, and the Museums are on the sides. If you go straight down the middle of the Mall, expect to be attacked by dozens of Super Mutants, and by the Capitol Building, Super Mutants, Talon Company Mercs, and an Enclave camp if you are far enough into the game.


  • Interestingly enough, the Supreme Court Building, that would have housed the United States Supreme Court is not in Washington, DC in Fallout 3. However, while visible, you can not travel to it.



Washington, DC is one of the major locations in Fallout 3.


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