These before and after images of Mount Vernon show the restoration of one of America’s greatest landmarks.
One of the earliest house restorations in America was Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. America’s first president died in 1799 and his beloved home eventually fell into an advanced state of neglect, as seen in this photo taken in 1858 (courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies Assoc.).
The Mount Vernon Ladies Association was formed to save and preserve the house, purchasing it shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Following the war, restoration began and has never stopped. New research and analysis leads to more accurate information about the appearance and functioning of the plantation during Washington’s lifetime and additional work is done based on new knowledge.
Note that the balustrade on the roof and porch at the left in the 1858 image were added to the house after Washington’s lifetime and were removed to present the house as he knew it.
Recently, significant research has been done on the enslaved inhabitants of Mt. Vernon and their important roles in the history of the plantation are now included in the interpretation of the site for visitors.
The iconic house (after photo by Ken Lund) stands as a monument to the man who established the model for the American Presidency, to his wife Martha, whose management of the property freed him to engage in public service, and the community of enslaved people whose work on the plantation made the construction of the house and the Washington’s lifestyle possible.
“Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” covers all the stages of restoration needed to save a house.
The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers.
Signed and personalized copies are available from the author in the shop on this site, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.
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