Fire Damage at Anacostia Exhibits Center

ID: SIA RU000371 [76-8987-34A]

Creator: Wooten, John

Form/Genre: Black-and-white photographs

Date: 1976

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 02, Folder: September 1976, Image No. 76-8987-34A

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Documentation of fire damage in the facility used by Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, now known as the Anacostia Community Museum, for the production of exhibits. The fire occurred at the facility located at 1901 Fort Place, SE, Washington, D.C., July 20, 1976.


  • Anacostia Neighborhood Museum
  • Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Anacostia Exhibits Center
  • Smithsonian Institution Office of Public Affairs


  • Original film available in SIA Acc. 11-009.
  • Featured in the "Torch," September 1976: "The Anacostia Neighborhood Museum's exhibits production center at 1901 Fort Place, S,E. , was damaged by fire on July 20. The fire started when several sheets of masonite fell from a fork lift striking a partially filled drum of lacquer thinner. According to the report issued by the Fire Protection Division, the likely source for ignition was a spark created when the drum struck the concrete floor of the structure. Intense heat from the spilled contents of this drum spread to a second drum containing varsol, and caused it to burst. According to the report, the building smoke detection system immediately sent an alarm to the D.C. Fire Department, thus avoiding greater damage. Due to the fire, telephone lines were dead and employees were unable to call for help. No one was injured in the incident. Most of the estimated $75,000 loss is attributed to structural damage."

Cite as

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 02, Folder: September 1976, Image No. 76-8987-34A

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1976
  • July 21, 1976

Restrictions & Rights

  • No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at
  • No Copyright - United States


  • Museum buildings
  • Fire
  • Museum buildings--Fires and fire prevention
  • Fires


Black-and-white photographs

Local number

SIA RU000371 [76-8987-34A]

Physical description

10 x 8;

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