The Volta building in Georgetown


Volta Laboratory / Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory Building is a National Historic Landmark.
Bell and family

The property is also part of the Georgetown Historic District. Built in 1893 under the direction of Alexander Graham Bell, the building served as a center of information for deaf and hard of hearing.  Bells grandfather and father were speech teachers and Bells wife, Mabel Hubbard, had been deaf from early childhood.
Chichester A. Bell

In 1879, the Bells moved to DC (So that Bell could be with his father, who already lived here and so that Bell could attend the seemingly endless federal court cases involving patent disputes) and in 1880, the French government awarded Bell the Volta Prize of 50,000 francs for the invention of the telephone. Bell used the money to found Volta Associates, along with Chichester A. Bell, his cousin, and Sumner Tainter, whose laboratory was focused on the research of recording and transmitting sound.

The Bureau, which was first housed at Bell's father's house at 1527 35th Street, (Bells fathers house which was directly across the street) moved to this neoclassic yellow brick and sandstone building when construction was completed  in 1893. 

The Volta Bureau was established as an instrument "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge relating to the Deaf." The Bureauworked in close cooperation with the American Association for the Promotion of the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (known since 1956 as the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf) The Volta Bureau  merged with Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf  in 1908.