President Lincoln's Cottage to convert to an AirBnB, offers historic amenities

Lincoln’s Cottage, first built in 1848, offers a quiet respite in DC living.

In what’s surely a first for a Registered National Historic place and museum, President Lincoln’s Cottage on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Petworth will be converting the historic mansion into a rentable housing unit with AirBnB.

Now you can really sleep in the Lincoln bedroom!

Lincoln’s Cottage, famous as the get-away vacation spot for our nation’s 16th president, first opened to the public in February 2008. It was built by George Riggs in 1848 as a summer home, and sold to the US government in 1851.

While Lincoln was president, he would stay on the grounds, visiting wounded soldiers and retired veterans who stayed on the property at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and worked on the Emancipation Proclamation.

“The Cottage is fabulous,” said Executive Director Erin Carlson Mast. “It’s the only place the public can truly experience the history of Abraham Lincoln’s public and private life — where he slept, the dining room where he ate dinner, even the outside privy where he did his… presidential business. We’re making all those features available to our guests!” she said.

Some guest quarters and cannons on the grounds of the AFRH.

The new “Lincoln’BnB” comes with a ton of “time period appropriate” amenities (and not just the presidential privy outside). The cottage has a total of 34 rooms, restored at great expense 11 years ago in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are 5 bedrooms on the second floor, “Perfect for a few tourist families who want to really experience DC living,” said Mast. “There’s plenty of room to spread out in the Cottage and enjoy living like you’re in the 1800s!”

Relax in the parlour, chatting with finger sandwiches and tea.

The inside game room is a wonderful place to hangout with kids. There’s even a play station for the kids to enjoy! The wood paneling and the soft lamps give the Cottage a quiet feel, perfect for de-stressing after a day out in DC.

Hang out by the fire reading a fine Jane Austen novel while the children quietly play games.

There’s even a “play station”… a gaming table waiting for hours of good times.

The house used to have two kitchens, but they were removed years ago. (No problem, Slash Run is right outside the gate for burgers and music, as is the Hitching Post, with their amazing fried chicken!)

The Cottage is happy to offer complimentary hot plates and a mini fridge in each room.

The building has two bathrooms, with indoor plumbing!

You can’t beat the Cottage’s great view (you can see the tippy-top of the Washington Monument from the upstairs windows).

Lincoln’s bedroom has a great fireplace and quotes to warm your heart.

For history buffs, there’s a replica of the writing desk Lincoln used when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation (the original desk is the White House, that presidential mansion on Pennsylvania Ave currently being rented out by Trump). Imagine sitting down with your morning coffee and iPad at Lincoln’s desk? Amazing.

A replica of the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.

Along with a rustic feel, there are some modern conveniences — they have free WiFi.

“We’re thinking of offering scones,” Mast said. “Make the morning something special.”

Only $2 to stay at the Cottage in the 1970s!

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time the Cottage has been used as a rental property.

While Riggs used the mansion as a summer house, it was often lent out to other wealthy guests.

After it was purchased by the Federal government, during the 1970s guests could rent a room for $2 dollars a night. Not too shabby!

Obviously, with housing prices going up and up in DC, and hotel prices being what they are, the LincolnBnB won’t be cheap. Look for prices and other details coming soon.

If you’re renting out your basement as an AirBnB, now you have real competition!

Happy April Fool’s Day from Petworth News and President Lincoln’s Cottage! They’re great sports for agreeing to be satirized for the prank day. The Cottage is an amazing resource in our community — go check them out!

Past April Fool’s Articles: