|Recently, a small Welcome Center was opened on the first floor of the building. At the moment, it is open on weekdays.|
|The space isn’t finished, so no artifacts can be displayed here yet. There are some great informational panels and a video presentation on display though.|
The main part of the new museum will be located on the third floor of the building, where Clara Barton lived and worked. A restoration crew is still hard at work preparing the space for visitors.
|Here’s a "before" look at the room which housed the Missing Soldiers Office.|
|Here you can see that the walls and ceiling have been restored, and the wood trim around the windows has been painted.|
|Most of the interior doors looked like this one.|
|Here a conservator carefully removes the dirt and the top layer of finish from one of the doors. You can see the lighter area at the bottom of the door that he has already cleaned.|
|While I was there, he uncovered the original number on the door!|
|Here’s a look at the hallway outside the Missing Soldiers Office doors, before any restoration.|
|The hallway is looking much better now, and a skylight has also been added.|
|This is Clara Barton’s living space before restoration.|
|Here is what her living space looks like now.|
|Another section being preserved shows a signature from a previous wallpaperer. It reads, “Papered by Andrew Frye, Apr. 29, 1898.”|
|It’s a bit hard to read through the liner paper, but the tradition of signing the walls before applying the wallpaper is being carried on by the current crew!|
|One reason I visited yesterday was to place this data logger in the space. This little unit records hourly readings of the temperature and relative humidity. This data will help me to better plan for how to exhibit the artifacts.|
So, the Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office Museum is closer to being finished! There isn’t an official opening date yet, but be on the lookout for an announcement sometime this fall.
Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.