Clara Barton National Historic Site
Clara Barton National Historic Site
The Clara Barton House
|Location||5801 Oxford Rd., Glen Echo, Maryland|
|Area||9 acres (3.6 ha)|
|Architect||Julian B. Hubbell|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|NRHP Reference #||66000037|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
The Clara Barton National Historic Site, which includes the Clara Barton House, was established in 1974 to interpret the life of Clara Barton (1821–1912), an American pioneer teacher, nurse, and humanitarian who was the founder of the American Red Cross. The site is located 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Washington D.C. in Glen Echo, Maryland.
The United States National Historic Site protects 9 acres (0.04 km²) of land at her Glen Echo home including the 38-room former residence of Barton. The site is managed by the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The first national historic site dedicated to the accomplishments of a woman, it preserves the early history of the American Red Cross and the last home of its founder. Clara Barton spent the last 15 years of her life in her Glen Echo home (1897-1912), and it served as an early headquarters of the American Red Cross as well.
The National Park Service has restored eleven rooms, including the Red Cross offices, parlors and Clara Barton's bedroom. Visitors to Clara Barton National Historic Site can gain a sense of how Barton lived and worked surrounded by all that went into her life's work. Visitors to the site are led through the three levels on a guided tour emphasizing Barton's use of her unusual home. In 2005, 12,529 visitors toured the site.
The large frame house was partially constructed from lumber salvaged from emergency buildings built by the Red Cross at Johnstown, Pennsylvania in the wake of the Johnstown Flood of 1889. The lumber of the dismantled buildings was brought to Washington via the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to avoid flooding the local market in Johnstown. The lumber was stored on a lot owned by Barton in Washington D.C. until early in 1891 when construction began on land donated by Edwin and Edward Baltzley, who were developing a Chautauqua assembly at Glen Echo. The house was designed by Dr. Julian B. Hubbell, the first field agent of the American Red Cross. Hubbell oversaw the construction work performed by Baltzley's construction team. The original structure included a massive stone front in a style in keeping with the rest of the Chautauqua buildings. In 1897, when Barton moved into the house permanently, the central part of the stone facade was dismantled, creating flanking stone towers. The addition of pointed roofs accentuated the effect on the deep, narrow house.
In spite of its massive size, the house is sparely detailed and furnished for utility. The interior is designed as if it were a Mississippi River steamboat. The house contains 36 rooms and 38 closets, with three tiers of rooms facing a central gallery lighted by clerestory windows of colored glass.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Clara Barton National Historic Site". Clara Barton National Historic Site. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings". National Park Service. July 28, 1964. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
- "Clara Barton - A Register of Her Papers in the Library of Congress". Library of Congress. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- "Clara Barton: Professional Angel". University of Pennsylvania Press. 1987. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- Official website
- Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan
- Clara Barton National Historic Site, Montgomery County, including photo in 2003, at Maryland Historical Trust
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. MD-300, "Clara Barton House, 5801 Oxford Road, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Glen Echo, Montgomery County, MD", 11 photos, 26 measured drawings, 1 photo caption page