Fire Suppression Project

A piano and sitting chairs beneath a portrait of Ms. Bethune.
The fire suppression and security project will better protect the structure and museum objects.



The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House will be temporarily closed for construction beginning November 28, 2016. The National Park Service (NPS) is installing a fire suppression and security system in the Council House. These upgrades will help protect the historic building and museum collections for future generations of visitors. Read the Record of Determination.


The park is expected to re-open fall 2018. Construction equipment may impact travel and parking on Vermont Ave. at times. The National Archives for Black Women’s History (NABWH) will remain open to researchers at the Museum Resource Center.

Preservation Projects

Since 2014, the NPS has done several projects to preserve the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House. The NPS has repaired the front facade, repointed masonry, and repaired plumbing and drains.

Current and future projects the NPS will complete include:

  • processing and digitization of archival collections,
  • creation of an interactive web exhibit for the site,
  • additional research on the NABWH, and
  • broader context studies of the Civil Rights Movement in Washington, DC

Last updated: September 22, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
1318 Vermont Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20005



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