Ford's Theatre Complex in Washington DC
Over the years what had simply been Ford's Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot in 1865 and the Petersen House across the street where Lincoln was taken for medical care, has expanded. And now, the last remaining piece of the $60 million transformation is open. The new Ford's Theatre Complex is now a must-see-must-experience destination in Washington, DC.
For years people could visit Ford's Theatre, enjoy a performance, and take a fascinating tour offered by a National Park Service guide. Downstairs there were exhibits. Across the street, the Petersen House was open for glimpses of the place where Lincoln died. Then, in 2009, Ford's Theater became a museum complex. And now, in 2012, a further addition next to the Petersen House opens as the Center for Education and Ledership. A rather dull name for what promises to be a fascinating museum and addition to the complex that is now a major site for anyone who wants to know more about Abraham Lincoln's presidency, and the Civil War.
Center for Education and LeadershipTwo floors of permanent exhibits addressing the immediate aftermath of the assassination and the evolution of the Lincoln legacy. Featured exhibits will showcase funeral artifacts from the National Park Service collection never before displayed for public viewing; a recreation of the Virginia tobacco barn wherein John Wilkes Booth was ultimately captured and killed; and a Lincoln Memorial theatre exploring Lincoln's power to effect social change.
Ford's Theatre MuseumThe focus is on historic artifacts with a variety of interactive exhibits to tell the story of Abraham Lincolnís presidency. Using environmental recreations, videos and three-dimensional figures, the museum transports visitors to 19th-century Washington, where they can follow Lincoln from his arrival in Washington in 1861. Exhibits explore Lincolnís Presidential cabinet, what life was like in the Lincoln White House, various Civil War milestones and generals, Lincolnís great speeches and the Assassination conspiracy. The collection of artifacts includes the deringer that John Wilkes Booth used, as well as the clothing President Lincoln wore the night he was shot.
Ford's TheatreFord's Theatre reopened in February 2009 following its most extensive renovation since 1968 as a working theatre. Visitors can learn more about President Lincoln and the night of his assassination or see a performance.
Petersen HouseIn 1849, William A. Petersen, a German tailor, constructed the plain red brick three-story and basement townhouse across the street from Ford's Theatre. After the shooting, President Lincoln was carried to the house and tended in a back bedroom until his death hours later. In 1933 the National Park Service has maintained it as a historic house museum, recreating the scene at the time of Lincoln's death. Visitors can learn more about that fateful night and the people who surrounded the President in his final hours.
Want more?Get tickets to one of their evening or matinee performances in the historic theatre. Or take a walking tour of the neighborhood around Ford's Theatre with a historic figure from Civil War Washington.