What and Where Is President Lincoln's Cottage?

The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.
The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.

President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument, or simply referred to as President Lincoln Cottage, is located in Washington D.C., United States. It is situated on a hilltop in northwest Washington, D.C.The national monument stands on 2.3 acres of land near the Petworth and Park View neighborhoods. It is located at the soldier’s home, commonly known today as the Armed Forces Retirement Home. The Soldiers' Home is approximately 251 acres. The cottage was formerly called Anderson Cottage.

History of the Cottage

President Lincoln’s Cottage was constructed between 1842 and 1843 in a Gothic revival style. At the time of its construction, it was intended to be George Washington Riggs’s house. The Cottage became so popular that it was declared as a National Historic Landmark on November 7, 1973, and later added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 1974. Furthermore, President Bill Clinton declared the Cottage a National Monument on July 7, 2000. After Clinton’s declaration, restoration of the cottage began, and was completed in 2007.

Since it was built, the general public has been restricted from accessing the Cottage. It was not until February 18, 2008, that the Cottage was opened to the public, following major restoration work at the facility.

After a comprehensive agreement with the Armed Forces Retirement Home, management of the property was transferred to the National Trust of Historic Preservation in collaboration with the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

Tours to the Cottage

Since becoming open to the general public, President Lincoln’s Cottage can be accessed any day of the week. As the only designated National Monument in Washington, D.C., it receives numerous visitors, especially on weekends and public holidays. Besides, it is the only non-profit National Monument in the entire country. Tourists to the Cottage also have an opportunity to view exhibitions at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, which is adjacent to the Cottage, and displays exhibitions on the Soldiers’ Home, Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, and Lincoln’s life as commander-in–chief. Visitors are required to purchase tickets before arriving at the Cottage.

President Lincoln’s Cottage as Whitehouse

President James Buchanan lived in the Cottage between 1857 and 1861, and President Abraham Lincoln and his family also temporarily lived in the Cottage. When political pressures became too much to bear, the president and his family used the Cottage as a retreat. Although the president wanted stays at the Cottage to be private, people residing near the Cottage often spotted him riding into or out of the property. Lincoln stayed in the Cottage during the peak of the Civil War. Other presidents who resided in the Cottage include Rutherford B. Hayes, who lived there between 1877 and 1881, and president Chester A. Arthur, who occupied it between 1881 and 1885. These presidents used the Cottages as the Summer White House and as a retreat from political pressures of the day.


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