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Spy Museum: if you go

July 25, 2002

The International Spy Museum



800 F St. NW

Washington, D.C.

Open every day - except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., April - October;

10 a.m. - 6 p.m., November - March

Earlier hours will be available for group tours by reservation.

Admission is $11, adults; $8, children ages 5-18 or grades K-12; free for children younger than 5. Special rates are available for groups, seniors, military and intelligence employees.

For information, call 1-202-EYE-SPYU (1-202-393-7798) or go to www.spymuseum.org.

The museum is four blocks from the National Mall, across the street from the National Portrait Gallery, near MCI Center and within a block of FBI headquarters.

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It's pretty easy to get to. Two Metro stops from Union Station if you take the MARC train from Frederick or Brunswick, Md., or Martinsburg, W.Va., a half a block's walk from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station.

When construction began, it was learned that the Le Droit Building, designed in 1875 and one of the oldest remaining office buildings the city, had no foundation, says museum founder Milton Maltz. The building had to be supported with metal girders before construction could continue.

In an ironic twist worthy of James Bond's wry humor, one of the buildings, the Warder-Atlas Building, housed the headquarters of the U.S. Communist Party from 1941 to 1948.

The International Spy Museum includes a museum store, of course, where visitors can purchase books, maps, prints, disguise kits and spy-related toys. The store is more than souvenirs, however. As visitors exit the museum through the store, they will see photos of themselves taken by surveillance cameras and learn how it feels to be watched.

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