President Lincoln's Cottage, the newest Historic Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, officially opened its doors today in a ceremony attended by Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and several hundred guests including historians and local students. The Cottage, where Abraham Lincoln lived for a quarter of his presidency, is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home three miles north of the White House.
This morning's celebration also featured noted historians Edna Greene Medford and Douglas L. Wilson along with Frank Milligan, director of President Lincoln's Cottage, and Robert H. Smith, the lead donor to the project.
The program closed with James Anderson's performance of "Ride On Abraham," a hip hop song written by Karen Chatman for President Lincoln's Cottage. This song will be a part of the extensive educational programming to be offered for school groups at the site. "Karen's song embodies our approach to engaging visitors in new ways," said Frank Milligan. "We believe that the unique interactive aspects of our tour experience at President Lincoln's Cottage and the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center will provide children and adults with a new way of seeing history. We're particularly excited to get young audiences engaged in Lincoln's story."
As part of the grand opening celebrations, a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, will be on display from February 19 through April 30, 2008 in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center.
President Lincoln's Cottage has undergone a $15 million restoration by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At the grand opening ceremony, Richard Moe noted that "The restoration of the Cottage is the realization of a ten-year dream, and I am thrilled to be able to offer the public a new venue for learning about the life, presidency and legacy of one of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Today's celebration recognizes the many people who have made this project a success, and I look forward to sharing our hard work with the public."
The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, adjacent to President Lincoln's Cottage is the first LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certified building of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This "green" renovation was made possible by a one million dollar grant from United Technologies Corporation.
Tours of the 34-room Gothic Revival "cottage" will be limited to 15 visitors per tour, and will examine Lincoln as a wartime president and family man and provide revealing insights into Lincoln's deliberations on emancipation and military strategy. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Group tours are offered for 10 or more adults and K-12 students. Advance reservations are required for group tours.
For more information on President Lincoln's Cottage or to schedule tours, please visit: http://www.lincolncottage.org.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. The National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, six regional offices, 29 historic sites and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history, and collectively shaping the future of America's stories.