Preservation work is always underway at George Washington's estate to ensure that generations to come will be able to enjoy the founding father's home.

The restoration of Mount Vernon is an ongoing process that began in the 19th century and continues today.

More than 12 original buildings on the estate are exposed to the extremes of weather and wear put on them by more than one million visitors each year.

Mount Vernon's preservation team restores and preserves the estate to how it appeared at the time of Washington’s death in 1799.

I have scarcely a room to put a friend into, or to set in myself, without the Music of hammers, or the odoriferous smell of Paint.

George Washington to James McHenry, April 3, 1797

During your visit, you can learn about the ongoing efforts to preserve Mount Vernon.

Lafayette Room

Lafayette Room

March - July 2022

The origins of the Lafayette Room date to the initial 1730s construction period of the house, with significant changes made at the beginning and end of George Washington's residence.

The room’s eighteenth-century woodwork, window sashes, door, and floors still survive.

Immediate preservation work in the Lafayette Room will include repairing and whitewashing the ceiling, cleaning the floor, and repainting the woodwork based on updated paint analysis. After recent research, the room will also be returned to the vibrancy known to the Washingtons with wallpaper reproduced from 18th-century examples.

The New Tomb

The New Tomb

July - November 2022

The restoration of George Washington’s New Tomb will dramatically improve the tomb’s visual appearance, removing visible staining and efflorescence of the brick and crumbling mortar and restoring the plaster ceiling over the Washington sarcophagi.

Most importantly, by controlling and reducing the moisture infiltration that has been the underlying cause of deterioration since construction in the 1830s, it will ensure the Tomb’s preservation for generations to come.

Smokehouse

Smokehouse

March - November 2022

Mount Vernon’s smokehouse stands on the south lane, part of a group of outbuildings that provided support for daily life on the estate. The smokehouse was constructed in the mid-1770s. In 1776, 132 hogs were fattened, slaughtered, and “put up” or hung in it.

Today, the smokehouse is remarkably intact. Its frame and interior hanging system are original, protected for more than two centuries by its clapboard siding, much of which has survived from the 18th century. That siding has borne the brunt of 245 summer and winters and is in need of serious conservation.

The first step is an assessment to determine the appropriate treatments for the boards in order to keep as much original fabric in place as possible. Mount Vernon’s skilled preservation staff will carry out the needed repairs using appropriate materials and the highest professional standards.

Restoration of Mount Vernon’s historic Smokehouse is sponsored by Edwards Virginia Smokehouse.

 

North Grove

North Grove

The Archaeology team is excavating 10x10-foot test units in a section of the north grove in search of archaeological features and evidence of past human activities.

Where to See Preservation Work

Support Mount Vernon

Preservation work never ends. Each year, the Mansion, outbuildings, and grounds are exposed to the extremes of weather and the wear put on them by more than one million visitors.

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Furnishing Mount Vernon

After inheriting a nearly empty home, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association faced the tall task of recreating the Mansion's interior—room by room.

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