The Landscape

Robert Lautman, 2000

The landscape surrounding President Lincoln’s Cottage is historically significant for its association with the life of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The Cottage is located on the campus of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (the AFRH—historically known by many names, including the Soldiers’ Home) in the northwest quadrant of Washington, District of Columbia.

The character of the landscape surrounding the Cottage is representative of its varied history. In 1842, the property was the rural, private estate of George W. Riggs. The Federal Government approved purchase of the land in 1851 for the foundation of a home to care for veterans, called the U.S. Military Asylum. The establishment of a military asylum on the grounds of the once private estate brought a shift in form and program to the landscape that continues to evolve today with the changing needs of the AFRH. Today, the 276 acre landscape features a mix of historic and modern buildings, rolling hills, wooded paths, and sweeping views of Washington, DC.

Although certain characteristics of the 1860s landscape composition have been altered as landscape aesthetics evolved and the AFRH expanded and contracted, the landscape maintains a moderate level of integrity as a historically important landscape. The landscape is an integral feature in the interpretation of President Lincoln’s Cottage.

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