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Over the past four years, money raised during the Preservation Challenge has allowed Mount Vernon's preservation team to do crucial work.

Ms. Karen Buchwald Wright generously created the Mount Vernon Preservation Challenge four years ago, committing five million dollars in matching funds to support preservation efforts at George Washington’s beloved home.

Constant Care

Work on the Stable roof in 2015, MVLA.

Work on the Stable roof in 2015, MVLA.

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. Mount Vernon’s preservation team works hard to combat deterioration and to restore and preserve George Washington’s home to how it appeared at the time of his death in 1799.

Our structures must be kept weather tight, so our preservation team is vigilant in maintaining the siding—including the iconic rusticated siding of the Mansion—and keeping wooden roof shingles in good repair. The structures must be painted, and to keep them looking authentic, we hand paint them using traditional 18th century methods.

The preservation team also maintains and repairs doors, locks, windows, and shutters; and in addition to all this work on the buildings, there is more than a mile of fencing to keep up. Without your support, this work would not be possible.

Washington's Kitchen

2017 installation of a new sill inside the Ladar of the Kitchen, MVLA.

2017 installation of a new sill inside the Ladar of the Kitchen, MVLA.

Thanks to the funds raised during previous years of the Preservation Challenge, we were able to begin work on the 1775 Kitchen. The preservation team determined that the original wood sill had been removed. The sill is a critical component of a building’s frame that ties together the bottoms of the framing members of the wall. Without a sill, the building is much less structurally sound.

Our carpenters fashioned parts of a new sill from white oak trees felled right on the estate. At this time, only about half of the Kitchen’s sill has been reconstituted. Once funds are secured, the rest of the sill work will be completed.

Servants’ Hall

Stripping paint on the Servants' Hall, MVLA.

Stripping paint on the Servants' Hall, MVLA.

Paint was stripped from two of the exterior walls of the Servants’ Hall. This work helped the preservation team identify areas in need of repair and to learn about the construction of the building. We found that most of the original 1775 siding still survives in place!

Many repairs were made to siding and to the underlying framing. Similar needed work on the other two sides will be undertaken, once funds have been raised.

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