Saturday, February 14, 2015
Located directly across the street from Tuskegee University lies Oak House. It is a stately Queen Anne style house perched on a rise overlooking the campus. The house was built for and occupied by Booker T. Washington, the first principal of Tuskegee Institute, as it was known in that day. The house gets it name from the extensive amount of oak used throughout the house. The house was built by students at the Institute. The house basically served as their resume. When these young men went to find jobs they could say they built the house Booker T. Washington lived in. That was enough to get the job. The exterior bricks were all made at the institute. The Queen Anne style was chosen for the house because at this time in history (late 1800's-early 1900's) a Queen Anne house signified success. The darkly painted walls and the very dark wood stain on the railings, windows,doors, etc. give the interior of the house a very (here it comes) dark look. The first floor is beautifully decorated in period furnishings and the second floor office used by Mr. Washington contains the original furniture. Booker T. Washington was a well traveled man who knew many people in high places and was an excellent fundraiser for the institute. Oak House is operated by the US Park Service and admission is free to the public. The house is very lovely. I'm glad I stopped by.