Meet Erin Carlson Mast
The Director of President Lincoln’s Cottage tells us why it is so special…
Dupont Circle has great sights like the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, with beautiful mosaics, and places to refresh like the Tabard Inn
“The cottage opened to the public in 2008, and we’ve taken a different approach to the usual traditional historical attraction. We’ve opted for a sense of authenticity so that you get the feeling that President Lincoln touched the banister, walked on these floorboards. We’ve furnished it with ideas and a rotating display of old artefacts, such as the goblet Lincoln was drinking the day before he was assassinated in April 1865 and the Emancipation Proclamation.
The film ‘Lincoln’ was a boon. President Lincoln used this cottage during the Civil War to get away from the White House and his son Tad Lincoln played checkers with his father's guards and climbed trees to shoo away peacocks. So there are wonderfully light stories here too. Recently, we welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla here, which was wonderful.
“We find a huge intellectual curiosity around Lincoln and indeed, Washington DC. We’re three miles away from the White House and a lot of our visitors go to the DC area, and to Ford’s Theatre [scene of Lincoln’s assassination] and to the Lincoln Memorial. At Dupont Circle they enjoy our sister site, the President Woodrow Wilson House and of course, the National Mall and Memorial Parks, whose monuments are a great resource for the nation.
But these areas get crowded and I’d invite people to take a deeper dive into DC’s neighborhoods where you’ll find energy and entrepreneurial spirit. Petworth has really changed and there’s now an explosion of new restaurants like Domku, a lovely Scandinavian place, and the Petworth Citizen Bar is great at happy hour. Columbia Heights district has our family favorites, Red Rocks Pizza and Meridian Pints. Dupont Circle has great sights like the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, with beautiful mosaics, and places to refresh like the Tabard Inn. I’d also recommend the Kreeger Museum, designed by architect Philip Johnson and a great place to take kids. As well as wonderful art - Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso – it has places to relax. With the museums some see DC as a slog. In fact it’s very tourist-friendly.”
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