This is the fifth and final year of the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge. Help us take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to give key preservation projects a tremendous boost in the year ahead.

For every $1 you donate by December 31, 2019 to the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge, Karen Buchwald Wright will donate an additional $2. This is a chance to make a monumental impact on Mount Vernon's future.

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What is the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge?

To protect all the physical structures of the Mount Vernon estate for decades to come, a very generous and patriotic Mount Vernon supporter, Karen Buchwald Wright of Mount Vernon, Ohio, has issued the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge.

Through the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge, Ms. Wright will match every $1 you send now with another $2 for future historic preservation initiatives at the estate, tripling the impact of your donation. 

A Monumental Responsibility

For more than 160 years, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has relied on private donations to fund all our projects protecting the home of Washington—the father of our country—and keeping it open for all who wish to come and pay tribute to our country’s first national hero.

To protect the Mansion, outbuildings, gardens, and grounds from the wear and tear of one million annual visitors and the effects of Mother Nature, we rely on a dedicated preservation staff that works diligently to address both urgent and recurring maintenance needs.

Our Most Pressing Projects:

Restoring the West Front of the Mansion

Restoring the West Front of the Mansion

Our staff worked diligently to remove 28 layers of paint and sand, in order to assess and conserve the architectural elements of the Mansion’s west front. Incredibly, we determined 83 percent of the siding boards are original. During the project, our preservation carpenters identified and addressed gaps in the siding boards, small areas of deterioration, and some earlier wood fills that needed replacing. Our painters then replicated the sand-painting process described and used by Washington in the 18th century.

Fire Suppression System

Fire Suppression System

Many of Mount Vernon’s original buildings are constructed of wood, meaning fire is a perpetual threat. We have a responsibility to safeguard Washington’s estate. That’s why we continue to work to install state-of-the-art fire-detection and suppression systems in all of the Washington-era buildings. We wish to ensure they survive for the benefit and education of future generations.

North Garden House

North Garden House

One of Mount Vernon’s most unusual surviving 18th-century structures, the North Garden House, retains early interior plaster, original exterior siding, and framing
timbers, but the frame has sustained extensive hidden deterioration. Plaster conservation has been completed, and structural stabilization of the building’s framing is underway. After these repairs are complete, the bell-shaped roof will be re-covered with cypress shingles to ensure the garden house is weathertight to prevent future damage.

Facebook Live: Preservation Challenge Kickoff

5-Year Preservation Challenge Timeline

2013
2020
Critical Preservation Maintenance
Mansion Roof and Cupola Repaired
Chintz Room and Blue Room Restored
East Lawn Stabilization
Front Parlor Restored
Garden Houses
Mansion’s Siding Repaired and Repainted
Preservation Work Continues

2014-2019

Thanks to your support, our preservation experts have completed needed preservation maintenance and tackled an ambitious slate of restoration projects!

Critical Preservation Maintenance

10 Outbuildings repaired and repainted

8 Outbuilding roofs replaced

4 Outbuilding roofs repaired

Mansion Roof and Cupola Repaired

Conducted important maintenance to the Mansion roof, replaced the cupola’s finial and roof, and conserved 19th-century graffiti.

Chintz Room and Blue Room Restored

Restoration completed on two of the major bedchambers after intense forensic investigation and research.

East Lawn Stabilization

A sweeping project began to address slope erosion and stabilize the grounds between the Mansion and the Potomac River.

Front Parlor Restored

The discovery of new information dramatically changed our understanding of the room’s furnishings and prompted a multi-year restoration project that involved conservation of the original 1760s paneling.

Garden Houses

Repair and conservation of the buildings’ framing and replacement of cypress roof shingles.

Mansion’s Siding Repaired and Repainted

A Multi-year project began to address the deterioration of the Mansion’s siding. The west side is now completed and the south, north, and east sides of the Mansion will undergo this same restoration process in the coming years.

Preservation Work Continues

Preservation of the Mansion’s exterior, stabilization of the east slope, and restoration of Mansion bedchambers and downstairs rooms will continue. This work cannot be completed without your help.

Want to learn more about the Preservation Challenge Timeline?

 

EXPLORE THE TIMELINE

Thank You for Your Generous Support

Preservation of the Mansion’s exterior, stabilization of the east slope, and restoration of Mansion bedchambers and downstairs rooms will continue. This work cannot be completed without your help.

Donate Now

Mount Vernon is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization (Federal ID Number: 54-0564701) and receives no federal or state funds.  All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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