A cottage used by President Lincoln as a summer residence re-opens to the public this Presidents Day after a 15 million dollar refurbishment. Hartford based United Technologies has been closely involved in making sure parts of the historic landmark now meet the strictest environmental building standards.
The 1842 cottage is just three miles from the White House, on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington DC. It was declared a national monument in 2000, and since that time has been undergoing restoration. Andrea Doane, director of coporate philanthropy for UTC says itâ€™s a hidden gem.
"Itâ€™s one of these little known treasures, itâ€™s on the Northeast side of Washington DC, itâ€™s in the city proper, but you have to know itâ€™s there. And some of the stories - those that are true aficionados of Lincoln will go to DC and have never even seen this property."
UTC worked with the National Trust, its engineers and architects on the refit of the nearby visitorsâ€™ center, itself a 1905 beaux arts cottage. The work enabled it become the first National Trust building to be certified under the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design program. Andrea Doane says meeting green standards in an historic building has its own challenges.
"Certainly you have to think about things like equipment, because when you want to all of a sudden air condition a home that was built in the 1800s, placing a chiller right next to the building is not necessarily ideal, and so what youâ€™ll find if you visit the site is that they have taken some of the new technologies and found some really interesting ways of hiding it away."
UTC says it now wants to take the lessons learned at the Lincolnâ€™s Cottage site and turn them into best practice standards for the refurbishment of historic buildings.