The Marine Barracks Washington is the oldest active post in the Marine Corps. It was established in 1801 by President Thomas Jefferson and Lt. Col. William Ward Burrows. It is sometimes known as “8th & I” and also as the “Oldest Post in the Corps.” It was the Marine Corps headquarters from 1801 to 1901. Today is supports both ceremonial and security missions in Washington D.C.
The site of the Barracks was chosen because of its distance
to the Navy Yard and the Capitol. Most of the Barracks were rebuilt in the
early 1900s. However, the basic layout hasn’t changed much over time. The south
and east side continue to be used for offices, maintenance facilities and
living space. Officers’ quarters remain on the west side with the Home of the
Commandants on the north side. The Home is the only original building remaining
and is the oldest public building in continuous use in Washington D.C. with the
exception of the White House.
Several celebrated units call the
Barracks home. Some of those include the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the
Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Band, the official Marine Corps Color
Guard and the Marine Corps Body Bearers.
The Home of the Commandants and
the Barracks, is a national historic landmark and on the National Register of
Historic Places. The Home of the Commandants has housed all but the first two
Marine Commandants. It is a Georgian-Federalist style house. Renovations and
additions have seen the house go from a small, basic structure to more than
15,000 square feet and 30 rooms.