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House Near the Capitol Inches Toward National Park Status

by Andrew Ramonas — June 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

Sewall-Belmont House & Museum (Photo via Wikimedia/AgnosticPreachersKid)

A historic home on Capitol Hill is one step closer to becoming part of the national park system.

The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum at 144 Constitution Ave. NE yesterday received word from the National Park Service that the site’s inclusion in the system is “suitable and feasible.” The National Park Service has more than 400 properties, including parks, monuments and historic homes.

The museum focused on women’s suffrage has an affiliation with the National Park Service. But it lacks the resources the agency provides to The Old Stone House in Georgetown, Arlington House at Arlington National Cemetery and other historic homes under its control.

The endorsement the National Park Service gave yesterday is “confirmation that this incredible story of women’s suffrage deserves a place in the national park system,” said Kristen Brengel, senior director of legislation and policy for the National Parks Conservation Association, which helps support U.S. national parks.

Neighboring the Senate Hart Office Building, the Sewall-Belmont House has served as the headquarters of the National Woman’s Party since 1929. The organization played a key role in securing the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

With the museum’s new support from the National Park Service, President Barack Obama or Congress can move to bring the house into the national park system. But it’s unclear when, or if, the museum will become a National Park Service property.

“I don’t think there is a strict timeline here,” Brengel said.

Photo via Wikimedia/AgnosticPreachersKid

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