This Treasure Matters: The Sewall-Belmont House

Posted on: April 14th, 2010 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

Washington, DC is a city full of imposing governmental buildings, gorgeous embassies and magisterial monuments, and as such, it can be easy to forget that not every building has an edifice as striking as the history contained in its walls. The Sewall-Belmont House is just such a place. A reasonably modest red brick mansion bordered on one side by a neighborhood filled with red brick row houses, and on the other by the Capitol and Senate office buildings, it could easily have vanished from the national consciousness.

This would have been a shame, as it has stood in witness to some very significant history, indeed. From being the only residence in the city to offer armed resistance during the British invasion in 1814 to its early-twentieth century role as the headquarters of the historic National Woman’s Party (NWP) , the Sewall-Belmont house has been on the front lines as America grew and changed.

In recognition of this importance, the Sewall-Belmont House was one of only four initial projects named by Congress in the legislation that established the “Save America’s Treasures” program, along with the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Star Spangled Banner.

This initial challenge grant, made in the amount of $500,000 in 1999, along with an additional $5 million in private contributions was leveraged over the next five years to complete the massive restoration. Today, The Sewall-Belmont House is one of the premier women’s history sites in the nation, the only major suffrage site that remains intact with an unparalleled collection of original furnishings, documents, photographs, art and artifacts.

Save America's Treasures, Preserve America, and the other programs cut or underfunded by the proposed federal budget do more than preserve our country's rich heritage – they put Americans to work. Learn more about the National Trust's campaign to restore this critical funding.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.