On April 18, I enjoyed a sneak peak of the restoration underway at 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 opens to the public as a museum in fall 2014.
From the street, you’d never imagine that this was a nationally significant historic site. It’s a simple three-story brick building surrounded by restaurants, towering condos and offices, popular museums, and a major sports arena. Indeed, it was overlooked by those who were searching for it because it didn’t fit their image of a warehouse. 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