Josiah Henson Park Museum and Education Center

Bethesda, Maryland

Restoration and Expansion of a Historic Plantation

Josiah Henson Park is part of the former plantation property of Isaac Riley, where the Reverend Josiah Henson was enslaved from 1795 to 1830. Reverend Henson, who later escaped to Canada and became a noted author and abolitionist, served as inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The 1.43-acre park is part of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property contains the historic Riley/Bolten House (1800-1815), a two-story, wood-frame house; and its attached log kitchen, built in 1850.

Mueller provided complete mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services for the preservation and conversion of these historic buildings into a public park and house museum focusing on Josiah Henson’s life. The project also includes a new, 2,400-square-foot visitor center that provides a media-rich orientation to the site, with an auditorium, gift shop, and visitor amenities.

Architect

Ziger/Snead

Client History

2020: Josiah Henson Park
2007: Blandair Tenant House Rehabilitation Study
2006: Cane River Creole Magnolia Plantation Preservation and Stabilization
2005: Cedar Point Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve New Visitor Facilities

“Honoring the Legacy of an Abolitionist Hero: The Josiah Henson Visitor Center Opens in Maryland”

IAMFA’s Papyrus magazine

“Josiah Henson Honored by AIA Baltimore”

AIA Baltimore

View additional Museum, Visitor/Conservation Center, or Preservation projects

  • “The new Josiah Henson Museum is a well designed addition to the park. It’s a contemporary take on residential forms that is respectful of existing structures…The new visitor center transforms the guest experience and serves as a model to the importance of providing access to cultural resources associated with enslavement and the enslaved experience.”

    AIA Baltimore Awards Jury
  • “The new Josiah Henson Museum is a well designed addition to the park. It’s a contemporary take on residential forms that is respectful of existing structures…The new visitor center transforms the guest experience and serves as a model to the importance of providing access to cultural resources associated with enslavement and the enslaved experience.”

    AIA Baltimore Awards Jury