Woodson House

Click here for photographs taken by Milton Williams of the Preview of the Woodson Home Site from Sunday, February 26, 2017.  The site will be open to the public later in the year.

Each year, ASALH holds a celebration on the birthday of Dr. Carter G. Woodson at the historic Woodson Home on December 19. During the month of December, please check our News & Events page for information about the event.

About the Woodson Home

Dr. Carter G. Woodson directed ASALH’s operations from his home located at 1538 Ninth Street, NW, Washington,  DC,  from 1915 until his death in 1950, and ASALH was headquartered in the building until 1970. The house was the center for educating the nation’s history and culture. Working out of this building, Dr.Woodson managed ASALH’s day-to-day operations, published periodicals (the Negro History Bulletin and the Journal of Negro History), operated a book publishing company (Associated Publishers), trained researchers and educators, and pursued his own research and writing about African American history.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 for its national significance in African American cultural heritage. The ceremony was held at the home on October 16, 1977.  (Ms. Willie Miles and Ms. Nerissa L. Milton unveiled the commemorative plaque as the director of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, Dr. Rupert J. Picott and others looked on.)  Now, as a result of legislation enacted in 2003, Dr. Woodson’s home was established as a National Historic Site and visitor attraction operated by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. Dr. Woodson’s home is the 389th site in the National Park System, and it is one of the over 19 sites expressly dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of African American history. For more information, please visit the National Park Service website.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton was instrumental in championing the concept of establishing Dr. Woodson’s home as a National Historic Site. ASALH thanks for her stalwart support and assistance in protecting this national treasure.

Dr. Woodson’s Home

The building is a fine example of a Victorian row house. It is three stories high with a raised basement, providing an authentic example of a popular architectural style characteristic of Washington, DC in the 1890’s.

Dr.Woodson’s home is located in the historic Shaw neighborhood of Washington,DC. This area has been identified as the “Heart of the African American Community in Washington” and numerous buildings of historical and cultural significance are located within walking distance. For example, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA,the Shiloh Baptist Church, the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, the African American Civil War Memorial, the historic Lincoln Theater, and Howard University are all nearby. The building also is a short walk from the Washington, DC convention center.

Development of the Historic Site

On May 11, 1976, Dr.Woodson’s home was designated a National Historic Landmark.

In 2000, legislation was enacted authorizing the National Park Service to conduct a resource study to evaluate the suitability and feasibility of designating the Woodson home as a National Historic Site. (Public Law 106-349, 114 Stat. 1359, October 24, 2000)

The National Park Service issued its special resource study of the Carter G. Woodson Home in June of 2002. This lengthy report documented the significance of the Woodson home and evaluated various options for future management of the site by the National Park Service. The study concluded that Dr.Carter G. Woodson’s home was suitable for inclusion in the National Park System as National Historic Site or as an affiliated area because of Dr. Woodson’s place in American history as a preeminent educator, historian, and the father of African American history.

In 2003, legislation was enacted authorizing the National Park Service to acquire Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s home and establish it as a National Historic Site within the National Park System. (Public Law 108-192, 117 Stat. 2873, December 19, 2003) The legislation also authorized the National Park Service to acquire several building adjacent to Dr.Woodson’s home and to incorporate them into the Woodson Home National Historic Site. In addition, the legislation provides for ASALH to use a portion of the historic site for its administrative purposes in order to maintain the historical connection between the association and Dr. Woodson’s home.

In June 2005, the National Park Service acquired Dr.Woodson’s home from ASALH. On February 27, 2006, the building was officially dedicated as the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, the 389th unit of the National Park System. The National Park Service is restoring the building and developing a visitor
center for the historic site.

On February 26, 2017, the National Park Service in conjunction with ASALH, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Shaw Community and other friends held a preview of the site.  This special preview marked the completion of Phase 1 of the Woodson Home rehabilitation. Phases 2 & 3, to be completed in the future, will involve exhibits, some historic furnishings, permanent restrooms, disability accssibility, and the rehabilitation of adjacent properties aquried by the National Park Service. Later in 2017 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open the site to the public.

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