Posts Tagged ‘House Museums’

TGIF Readers! I feel like this is Friday #2 this week, with the holiday on Wednesday. Speaking of the 4th of July, since I am still coming down from my post-fireworks euphoria, I have decided to theme today’s Fantasy in honor of our recently passed holiday. As you may know (or may not, as I do have some foreign readers), Independence Day (often better-known as the 4th of July, for the date the holiday falls on) is an American Holiday in which the citizenry celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, by which the Founding Fathers of our nation stated that America was its own country and should be free of British rule. This act of treason led to war between Britain and the American colonies, which eventually led to the creation of the country we know today… and it all began on July 4, 1776 (granted, that’s the thumbnail sketch of the founding of the United States, as there were many acts of rebellion that led up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, not to mention some confusion among when the Declaration was actually signed, but to avoid writing a book that’s been written several times over, I’ll leave us with the understanding that the holiday is on July 4th and we’re celebrating America).

Today, the 4th of July represents patriotism and love of country, both of which I can wholeheartedly support.  In honor of those sentiments, today’s Fantasy is tied to one of America’s most beloved Presidents: Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was America’s 16th President, responsible for leading the Union through the Civil War, writing the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation, and he was also assassinated.  What many people don’t know about President Lincoln is that, although he loved the White House, he actually dearly loved another house in Washington, DC, more. This other  house was a seasonal retreat for Presidents.  It was (and still is) a cottage on the grounds of what was known as the Soldiers Home (Now known as the armed forces retirement home).

(Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Photo, by way of wikipedia)

The Cottage was built in 1842 for George Washington Riggs (who later went on to found Riggs National Bank… Yeah, I’ve never heard of that bank either, but the guy had enough money to found a bank, so there you go….) in the fashionable Gothic Revival style. However, it did not remain a private home for very long, as President Lincoln had taken up residence there by the summer of 1862. It is even said he wrote preliminary drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation in the cottage. (Photo from lincolncottage.org and Armed Forces Retirement Home)

The cottage underwent a major restoration beginning in 2005, and opened to the public for the first time in 2008.  The site was declared a National Monument by President Clinton in 2000, as well as a being included in the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark.   Today is is maintained and run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (Photo from National Geographic)

Hope you enjoyed this look at President Lincoln’s Cottage. If you are in Washington, D.C., you should check it out. If you won’t be in the D.C. area anytime soon, you can visit the Cottage Website here.

Have a great weekend!



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Hello HPer’s

Today’s fantasy is a house that I saw a long time ago and fell into love with. It’s located in Portland Maine and was the childhood home of Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The house is simple yet complex much like a good chocolate cupcake.  It has know love and tragedy, joy and fear and it has stood as a sentry as time has passed, taking in both the families that lived there and school children and tour groups that now visit it daily.

Hope you enjoy seeing these little day-dream worthy beauties as much as I like sending them your way…. Do you have ideas for a Friday Fantasy? Send them my way!


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Back when I was an undergrad, I had my first Preservation class. It was called Introduction to Historic Preservation (original, no?) and in that class, we would sit through slide-shows (okay, power-point presentations) of historic buildings and have to identify what style they were and get an idea of the work that was involved in the preservation of that particular site.

Very early on I made acquaintance with a cute guy (now my husband) and we would site next to each other in class and critique the buildings, and sometimes we would like one enough to say it was our “Tuesday House” or “Christmas House,” meaning that when we struck it rich in the oh so lucrative field of Preservation, we would have an historic house for each day of the week and beyond (apparently we were going to be Donald Trump). So, in honor of this fond memory (however naive it may have been), I am going to start a Friday Fantasies Section where I will find a picture of a “fantasy” historic house and share a bit of information with you here.

My first choice will be a house that I first discovered that same year of undergrad during a Preservation Society trip to upstate New York. The house is Frederic Church’s: Olana.

Olana sits overlooking the picturesque Hudson Valley.  Its breath-taking setting, combined with its amazing Moorish-inspired architecture makes it one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited.

See you Monday


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