We are stopping on our way home today at one of the earliest house restorations in America, 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 before photo taken in 1858 (courtesy of the Mt. Vernon Ladies Assoc., after photo by Ken Lund).
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. I’m looking forward to seeing recently completed work on the exterior.
Note that the balustrade on the roof and the porch at the left in the 1858 image were added to the house after Washington’s lifetime and were removed during the restoration to accurately 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.
“Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” covers all the stages of restoration needed to save a house.
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Our shop also carries select preservation and restoration titles by other authors.
© Scott T. Hanson 2023.
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