Clara Barton Apartment and Adjacent Spaces
Between 1866 and 1868, Clara Barton operated a "Missing Soldiers Office" from a room in a mid-19th century boarding house in Washington, DC. Artifacts related to her activities were discovered in the attic of the building, which was scheduled for demolition, in the late 1990s. While the façade of the building had witnessed modern repair and renovations, the third floor of the building, where Clara Barton's office was located, had not been altered since the late nineteenth century, including such details as wallpaper from the periods before and after the Civil War. Following the discoveries, the building was designated an American Treasure and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC is working with the U.S. General Services Administration to stabilize and conserve the Clara Barton Apartment, which will ultimately be open to the public as part of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Historic research has been completed, and was complemented by a program of thorough physical investigation and materials analysis.* Appropriate conservation treatments were identified, as were locations for the careful integration of the new systems required to preserve the building and its important collection. The project includes the design of visitor amenities, safety and code upgrades, accessibility improvements, new heating and air conditioning systems, and museum lighting.
*Principals and project staff undertook the investigation and pre-treatment reports as Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC. Final construction documents and construction supervision are being completed by the same individuals at Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC.