A Generous Matching Gift to Help Restore a Piece of Memorial Continental Hall

Written by: Ann Dillon, President General

Even though our offices here at DAR Headquarters are closed this week for the holidays, we continue to work hard to ensure that all the positive momentum we have built in 2016 carries over into the New Year.

We begin 2017 with one of our most essential projects of the year—making immediate repairs to our treasured Memorial Continental Hall and the beautiful Connecticut Board Room located within. These historic buildings suffered microscopic physical damage during the earthquake that struck Washington, D.C., in 2011. Over time with the extreme freezing and thawing associated with unpredictable Mid-Atlantic weather, this damage has intensified and now needs to be remediated immediately to ensure the structural integrity of our beautiful home.

When the Connecticut Board Room was first constructed, it was one of the most expensive to furnish. Featuring ornate woodwork, gold-leaf moldings, custom-carved mahogany furniture, a specially woven velvet carpet, and three crystal, gilded electric chandeliers, the board room is not only one of our most exquisitely detailed rooms; it is also steeped with history.

Within these walls the National Board of Management first held their meetings. For nearly a century Daughters gathered in this very room to share countless ideas and make important decisions—many of which impact our organization today.

In 2001, for more space, the National Board of Management moved their meetings to the National Officers Club Assembly Room, known as the “NOC.” Today, the Connecticut Board Room is a popular location for national committee meetings, staff and docent training, weddings, small dinner events and corporate meetings.

Given the rooms’ fine details and furnishings, as well as a beautiful view of the White House ellipse, the Connecticut Board Room has long been a sought after venue. It has even served as the perfect backdrop for photographs featured in our very own DAR Wall Calendar over the past few years.

It is now time for us to preserve the history and beauty of Memorial Continental Hall and the Connecticut Board Room for current and future generations of Daughters and visitors.

Critical repairs are needed to arrest the continued damage to the building’s exterior as well as the interior spaces including the Connecticut Board Room and its adjacent period rooms. It will require not only a considerable amount of attention, but, very detailed, intricate work as well—at a total cost of $70,000. 

Thankfully, a very generous Daughter, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward and offered a $10,000 matching gift to assist us in completing these vital repairs. That means any gift made before our deadline of midnight on December 31 will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.

If you wish to support this important restoration, I encourage you to make your gift online or mail a check, postmarked on or before December 31st. Please remember, our offices are closed this week and there is no staff on hand to answer your phone calls or emails until January 2.

For more information about making a year-end gift, please visit www.dar.org/yearend2016.

Your gift means so much to us and we deeply appreciate all that you do to ensure we move forward in our mission of Historic Preservation, Education and Patriotism.

Wishing you joyful holidays and a successful New Year!

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Through restoring historic properties, funding scholarships and supporting our troops, DAR makes a difference in local communities.