Mount Vernon represents an excellent example of colonial architecture. Although George Washington was a sound record keeper, there is little evidence to support the belief that he employed architects in the renovation on his father’s house which began with the first enlargement in 1757. Many influences of the colonial period are evident in the house and grounds. The Governor’s Palace at Williamsburg suggests similarities such as the bowling green and the proportion of the dependencies. The view of the house from the east lawn does highlight one of the most striking features, the columned piazza. The piazza extends the full length of the house and offers unique design and climatic features. It seems to be an idea that demonstrates Washington’s own architectural originality and distinction. The cupola, with weathervane displaying the dove and olive branch, was the last addition in the fall of 1787.
This 8 ½” x 19 ½” engraving of the view from the west lawn at Mount Vernon is hand-colored, signed and numbered by the artist, Leo Szydlowski.