It's Official! LEED Gold for President Lincoln's Cottage Visitor Education Center

Posted on: April 6th, 2009 by Barbara Campagna 1 Comment
The Vistors Center at President Lincoln's Cottage.

The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage

It’s Official! The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center (VEC) at President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington DC became the first National Trust Historic Site last week to receive LEED certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is a third party rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to measure the impact of building construction and building operations on the environment. The Visitor Education Center received all 44 credits the project applied for under NC 2.2 (New Construction and Major Renovations). A minimum of 39 points are required for LEED Gold. The project was completed prior to USGBC releasing LEED 2009, which includes changes to the rating system that will benefit existing and historic buildings even more. (See my article in the AIA Newsletter for more detail.)

The VEC is the former Administration Building at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Northwest D.C. An Italianate Renaissance Revival style building that was constructed in 1905 as part of the Soldiers’ Home complex, it has been adapted for use as the Visitor Education Center (VEC) for President Lincoln’s Cottage, and incorporates administration space for the Trust. The National Trust is very grateful to our partner United Technologies Incorporated who contributed $1 million and technical expertise to the project.

For a more detailed description of the features of the rehabilitation project that makes the project “greener” than normal and a discussion of the project’s place in the National Trust’s Sustainability Program, please go to the Historic Sites Blog and Erin Carlson Mast’s blog on the President Lincoln’s Cottage webpage.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at


One Response

  1. Abraham Lincoln Leads The Way to Greener Historic Sites | Daily Greenz, the Blog from

    May 8, 2009

    […] the Center certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), as well as LEED’s Gold rating, making the Visitor Education Center (VEC) at Lincoln Cottage the first National Trust Historic […]