Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finally Going to Fix Dr. Woodson's House?

Built in the 1890s.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson's home between 1915-1950.
Offices of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History until the 1970s.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
A neighborhood eyesore for over three decades.
Photos Left to Right: 1976, Library of Congress; 2006, Richard Layman.

The National Park Service is holding a public "scoping meeting" for the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site today from 6-8pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage, 1816 12th Street, NW. The purpose of the meeting, according to Shaw Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Commissioner Alex Padro, is to gather input from neighbors and Washingtonians at large regarding their hopes for the house and surrounding area and suggestions for the future use of the house and adjacent buildings.

It's a disgrace that this historic site, the home of the father of black history at 1538 9th Street, NW, was allowed to deteriorate for so long. It took an Act of Congress to save the home, which NPS purchased in 2005 for $465,000. The plan includes incorporating the two adjacent houses north of the Woodson home at 1540 and 1542 9th Street into the historic site. NPS acquired these two properties from Shiloh Baptist Church, which owns numerous other vacant properties in the immediate area, to house a visitor center and administrative functions.

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