George Washington's dwelling began as a one and one-half story farmhouse built in 1735 by his father, Augustine, and received its well-known name during the ownership of George's half-brother Lawrence. George acquired Mount Vernon in 1754, and during the next 45 years he slowly enlarged it to create the 21-room residence we see today. Washington personally supervised all these changes, advising on design, construction and decoration—even when away at war. He provided his home with architectural features that expressed his growing status first as a Virginia gentleman and ultimately as America's most prominent citizen.
In 1758 Washington raised his home to two and a half stories, and during the 1770s he added rooms to the north and south ends, finally unifying the whole with the addition of the cupola and the unique two-story piazza overlooking the Potomac River. Today the Mansion is furnished and restored to depict Washington’s home in 1799.
After a major research and restoration effort, the largest and grandest room in George Washington's Mount Vernon Mansion has reopened with a new look and a new interpretation that brings the room much closer to the way it appeared in Washington’s lifetime.
George Washington worked to expand and enhance his Mount Vernon home throughout his lifetime. Explore each of Mount Vernon’s three floors in our Room by Room presentation.
Mount Vernon recently had the opportunity to sit down with Joseph Manca, author of George Washington's Eye: Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon.