Conceived as a series of abstracted forms that can be interpreted in many ways—from the farmstead vernacular of the region to stations along the Underground Railroad—the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center immerses visitors in the story of Tubman’s life.

Joined by a shared entry plaza and terrace, the two structures of the complex, one exhibit and one administrative, frame a view north, expressing the importance of traveling northward to escape the circumstances of slavery. The space between the buildings grows wider as visitors venture north—a metaphor for freedom—and the view to the south is truncated by the splay of the buildings, suggesting a sense of oppression similar to that associated with the slaveholding states.

"Harriet Tubman's Legacy" - Sheilah Kast, WYPR's On the Record, March 3, 2017

For more information on the project's design, please visit our blog.


  • Interpretation of two National Historic Landmark sites
  • Lobby/exhibit spaces, gift shop, multipurpose room
  • Salvage and reuse of wood columns, beams, curved brackets, and joists
  • Improved visitor entry sequence and circulation