Douglass home gets $2M renovation

Feb. 26, 2007 at 9:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The Washington home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass got a $2 million renovation nearly 130 years after it was bought for $6,700.

The Anacostia estate, which included nine acres of land in what would become Cedar Hill, has been showing off its new old self earlier this month, when the National Park service reopened the mansion for public tours booked into next month, The Washington Post said.

Featured last year on the popular PBS program "This Old House," the $2 million, three-year project used everything from old photographs to new technology to restore the house to the way it was years before the orator died in 1895.

Students of that era's design and decor see the manse as a showplace for period pieces such as the original Sears, Roebuck icebox to the Limoges china adorning the Douglass dining table.

Vivian Smith, vice president of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association, said the restoration helps to ensure the home maintains its relevance in America's history.

"It gives you something to be proud of. It gives you something to aspire to. It gives you something to tell generations yet unborn," she said.

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