Rockville’s OLBN Architectural Services is leading the efforts to preserve and restore Clara Barton’s Civil War-era office and warehouse on 7th Street in downtown Washington, DC–where she worked and lived before founding the American Red Cross in 1881. The historic site doesn’t open to the public as a museum until fall 2014 but last week I had a special sneak peak at the work underway.
From the street, you’d never imagine that this was a nationally significant historic site. It’s a simple three-story brick building in Penn Quarter surrounded by restaurants, towering condos and offices, popular museums, and the Verizon Center. Its historical significance was forgotten for most of the century until 1997, when a nightwatchman hired to keep vagrants out of the vacant building noticed a document jutting out from the ceiling. It turned out to be part of a cache of artifacts belonging to Clara Barton that had been stored in the Continue reading →