Access and Visitation Instructions

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters and the Historian's Office are located on the campus of the St. Elizabeth's Hospital in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C.   This is a highly secure campus and all visitors will need to contact us at least five business days prior to their proposed visit in order to secure a pass.  Otherwise you will not be permitted to enter St. Elizabeths. 

You will need to provide us with your full name, citizenship, birthdate and area(s) of research interest.  We will then secure a pass for you and provide the required campus escort.  Please note researcher appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will be confirmed by the Historian's Office to verify that your entry has been approved for the date and time requested before you will be allowed on campus.  Entry will be through St. Elizabeth's U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Visitor Center at Gate 4 at 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE.  We are in Building 31 (Atkins Hall) next to the cafeteria.

If you have a Common Access Card (CAC) and are currently at Coast Guard Headquarters please call or email us prior to your visit as the Historian's Office building is itself a secure building.  One of the staff will have to let you in.

Office hours are from 0800 to 1500 daily, Monday through Friday.  Researchers are welcomed by appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  The office is closed on weekends and all Federal holidays.  Earlier or later hours are available by appointment only, contingent upon staff availability.

Required Visitor Identification

A valid state or Federal government issued photo ID must be presented at the Visitor's Center for visitor access to the St. Elizabeths campus.  One of the following forms of ID may be used:

  • Current "REAL ID" compliant Driver's license or identification card issued by a State or outlying US possession
  • Current Federal Agency issued CAC or PIV
  • Current Military ID (DD Form 2) or Dependent ID card (DD Form 1173) with photo
  • Current US Passport or Passport Card
  • Current Foreign Passport
  • Current Permanent Resident Card
  • I-551 Stamp in Foreign Passport
  • Current Alien Registration or Resident Alien Card
  • Current Temporary Resident Card
  • Current Employment Authorization Card
  • Certificate of Citizenship

Getting to Coast Guard Headquarters

By Metrorail and Metrobus

The closest Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail station to the St. Elizabeths campus is the Green Line Anacostia station. 

WMATA operates weekday Metrobus service from the Anacostia and L'Enfant Plaza stations.

Anacostia-Fort Drum Line, A4 and W5 - Anacostia station Bus Bay G to CGHQ.  Weekday service from Anacostia begins at 5:12 am and the last bus departs CGHQ at 7:05 pm.  Buses run approximately every five minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during non-rush hour times.

South Capital Street Limited Line, W9 - L'Enfant Plaza at 7th and D Street SW to CGHQ.  One-way weekday service during rush hours only, approximately every 15 minutes.  Service begins at 6:20 am and the last bus departs CGHQ at 6:15 pm.

By Vehicle

GPS and online map directions to CGHQ vary in their accuracy, with Google Maps and Waze currently proving to be most accurate.  In either app, simply search for "USCG Headquarters Visitor Entrance" or "1790 Ash St. SE, Washington, D.C.".

From I-295 North, take Exit 3A, Suitland Parkway/U.S. Naval Station.  Take a right at the stoplight, Firth Sterling Avenue SE.  Make a left onto St. Elizabeths Rd SE to Gate 4.

From I-295 South, take Exit 4A, Suitland Parkway/U.S. Naval Station.  Merge onto Suitland Parkway.  Take a right at the stoplight, Firth Sterling Avenue SE.  Make a left onto St. Elizabeths Rd SE to Gate 4.

From I-395, head outbound on South Capitol Street SW, drive over the Fredrick Douglas Memorial Bridge, and bear left onto Suitland Parkway.  Take a right at the first stoplight, Firth Sterling Avenue SE.  Make a left onto St. Elizabeths Rd SE to Gate 4.