George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Mount Vernon is the former plantation home of George Washington. Today, the estate is home to a museum and the Washington family tomb. The house is one of the most popular historic sites in the United States. The estate’s revenue is based on ticket sales and retail. It has an annual budget of approximately $55 million. Learn More

The Mount Vernon estate is surrounded by the Potomac River. It has a number of buildings, including the Arlington House, the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, and the Washington family tomb. The house is known for its Palladian style architecture and is filled with personal items from the Washington family. The home’s enslaved population has been a subject of controversy. The League of Enslaved Descendants has been seeking to convert a gift shop in the former slave quarters into a space for permanent exhibits on enslaved people.

George Washington’s family fortune dwindled over the decades. By the end of his lifetime, most furniture had been sold. The estate was in disrepair by 1850, but a plan to repair the house was initiated. This included an archaeological excavation of the slave cemetery, which is still being worked on. Archeologists have discovered 86 likely burial sites.

The house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, who was also the first architect of the U.S. Capitol. The main house features five parts in a Palladian plan. It has two-story wings and a smokehouse. It exhibits elements of Georgian and Federal styles. There is a large American boxwood in the formal garden, which is enclosed by brick walkways. The garden was inspired by a formal garden on Tudor Place, the former home of Martha Custis Peter. More about National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park

The Music Room is the only chamber in the Mansion without closets. It is painted a soft beige, with white chair rails and a fireplace on the north wall. The ceiling is fourteen feet six inches high. The room’s curtains are made of toilet fabric that depicts Washington ascending to heaven. The ceiling is believed to be for acoustics. The room has faux grained closets.

Eleanor Lewis, a favorite niece of George Washington, played a critical role in the image of Washington as a parent. In addition to writing letters to his daughters, she also cherished his presence at the estate.