Mount Vernon has inspired more buildings and places than any other historic structure in America - like these.

George Washington might have designed Mount Vernon’s piazza as an ideal place to enjoy his beautiful view of the Potomac, but generations of Americans after him copied the long porch for purposes he could never have imagined. Houses, motels, college buildings, banks, restaurants, and even funeral homes sport Mount Vernon’s iconic piazza, its red-white-green color scheme, asymmetrical west elevation, three-part organization, or cupola. By duplicating or interpreting these highly recognizable features in contemporary architecture, business and homeowners tie their “replicas” – and themselves – to George Washington, American history, patriotism, and tradition. 

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Published by the University of Virginia Press in 2016, First in the Homes of His Countrymen chronicles Mount Vernon’s role in historic preservation and popular American culture since George Washington’s death in 1799. Diving deep into America’s obsession with the building, Lydia Mattice Brandt explains how and why people copy Washington’s home more often than any other historic place in the United States and reveals the astonishingly wide range of interpretations of this singular mansion.

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