11 Most Endangered Historic Places

President Lincoln's Cottage

Year Listed: 2000
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Threat: Deterioration, Natural Forces, Neglect

President Lincoln's Cottage in 1863


Abraham Lincoln spent one quarter of his presidency at his summer residence, the Soldiers' Home, where he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. The home, also known as Anderson Cottage, is located on the grounds of the 320-acre campus of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, just north of Washington, D.C. This national treasure lacked the financial resources for a much-needed restoration that would bring it to the forefront of America's historical consciousness. This Gothic Revival cottage suffered from the effects of time, use, and stress. Over the years, it has been transformed from a country cottage to a soldiers' home, to a heavily used office building. Due to a shrinking financial base for upkeep, only the most basic repairs had been made to the cottage. Seeping water in the basement, rotting wood windows, and antiquated electrical and plumbing systems were among the most urgent needs. Leaking radiator pipes in the 100-year-old heating system were damaging floors and interior woodwork that date to Lincoln's time.