The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center is housed in a sustainably rehabilitated, Italianate Renaissance Revival style building designed by architect William Poindexter.
The structure was originally built in 1905, to serve as the Administration Building for the Soldiers’ Home in northwest Washington, DC. In 2007, the National Trust for Historic Preservation began a sustainable rehabilitation of the building to adapt it for use as a welcome center, exhibit space, and staff offices for President Lincoln’s Cottage.
President Lincoln’s Cottage and the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center opened to the public in February 2008.
The Visitor Education Center is the first at a National Trust Historic Site to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center received 44 credits, earning LEED Gold certification in April 2009.
Thanks to a $1 million contribution and technical expertise provided by United Technologies Corporation, green practices became an integral part of the rehabilitation of this building.
Today, the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage stands as a model for the important role historic buildings play in environmental stewardship.
For more information on this building, including a downloadable self-guided tour brochure of green features in the building, click here.