Carter G. Woodson Home Chosen as Endangered Site
The Washington home of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, acclaimed scholar, educator and founder of the Black history movement, has been chosen by the National Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places.
The abandoned and deteriorated 1890s Victorian red brick rowhouse sits squarely in the middle of Washington’s Shaw neighborhood, a richly historic area undergoing a renaissance. While many of Shaw’s grand old homes and classic row houses have been rehabbed, the Woodson home, whose condition worsens by the day, awaits rescue.
“Dr. Carter Woodson spoke out for the preservation of African American history and culture at a time when it was very unpopular to do so,” said National Trust President Richard Moe in a statement from the organization. “He recognized the importance of saving America’s unique cultural treasures. Certainly the home where he lived and worked deserves to be rescued so future generations can be inspired by Dr. Woodson’s remarkable legacy.”
Woodson lived and worked in the modest rowhouse from 1915 to 1950. And from this home, he was the first to call for a national week recognizing Black achievement.
The home, which is owned by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, a nonprofit publisher, has been abandoned for nearly a decade. It has suffered extensive interior damage, including structural deterioration caused by water leaks in number of locations. The association hopes to restore the property, use it as its headquarters and open it to the public to showcase the life and work of Woodson.
The National Trust annually identifies 11 different places throughout America to help bring home its message about endangered places. The organization has identified more than 120 threatened, one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. While listing does not ensure protection of a site or guarantee funding, the designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save threatened sites in every region of the country.
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