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National Park Service to host public meeting about upcoming Oaks preservation projects

September 16, 2019

Contact: Dr. Hillary Conley, Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, National Park Service

The OaksOn Friday, Sept. 20, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., staff of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site will host a meeting to outline upcoming preservation work at the Oaks — the historic home of Booker T. Washington and his family. The public meeting will take place at the George Washington Carver Museum on the Tuskegee University campus.

This project will address years of deferred maintenance and critical preservation needs identified by recent park studies. The home's portico and decks, wood columns and soffits, masonry, concrete coping, windows, gutters, interior plaster, and paint will be repaired as outlined in the park's treatment plan and following the secretary of interior's “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.”

At the Sept. 20 meeting, park staff will give presentations on the proposed preservation project from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m., with questions and comments following immediately after. The meeting will be followed by an open house from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Parking is available at the rear of the Oaks or in the parking deck behind the university’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

The preservation project will take place with a youth partner organization and is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2019. The youth partner will organize seven work sessions, each 16 days in length. As many as 40 volunteers seeking construction or historic preservation experience will be recruited from the local community, nonprofit organizations and other schools in addition to Tuskegee University.

The National Park Service encourages the public to attend this meeting to learn more about the planned project, provide comments, and learn about ways they can get involved.  Comments may also be submitted at through Sept. 30.

For additional information, contact Dr. Hillary Conley, cultural resource manager with the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, at 334.724.6033 or

Booker T. Washington's study in The OaksAbout The Oaks
Founder Booker T. Washington’s home, The Oaks — named after the numerous oak trees that surround the site — was designed by university architect Robert R. Taylor and completed in 1900. Most of the furnishings were made by local craftsmen and students, and it was the first house in Macon County to have electricity and indoor plumbing. The 7,800-square-foot, Queen Anne Revival-style home’s 14 rooms include a parlor, library, dining room, den, kitchen, breakfast room, family room, guest rooms, five bathrooms, and a veranda.

Washington lived in and often worked from home’s second-floor office until his death in 1915, and his wife, Margaret, continued to live in the home until her death in 1925. The university purchased the home in 1925, and, when acquired by the National Park Service in 1974, became part of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. Today, it is maintained as a historic landmark, and still retains the lovely appointment it had when Washington lived there. Free ranger-guided tours are available Tuesday through Saturday.

© 2019, Tuskegee University