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Over the past 284 years, the Mansion has endured rain, snow, sun, wind, and termites. Additionally, millions of people have passed through it, causing additional stresses to the wooden building.

Stabilization efforts from 100 years ago have outlived their effectiveness, and outdated modern infrastructure is failing to provide a healthy environment for the building’s fabric and contents. Permanent repairs to the frame and improvements to the internal environmental conditions are needed to better stabilize and regulate the Mansion. This work is critical to keeping George Washington’s home standing for hundreds of years to come.

Phase 1

In 2017, concerns about both the Mansion’s wood framing and brick foundations prompted a thorough study. During phase one of this project, the preservation team analyzed the building and conducted archival research to learn as much as possible about the Mansion’s construction and the cellar’s use over time.

The cellar assessment project included architectural historians, structural and mechanical engineers, conservators, and archaeologists. The team identified concerns for the long-term health of the house and concluded that the cellar was once a bustling part of the house with a kitchen, storage area, and living space.

Mount Vernon's Cellar, MVLA.

Phase Two

During phase two, we will develop planning documents for reconstructing missing key elements of the Mansion’s wood framing in a manner consistent with its 18th-century construction, to ensure the structure will continue to be able to handle future generations of visitors. The preservation team will also identify replacements for outdated electrical and HVAC systems to create a healthy environment for the Mansion and its contents. Implementation of the project will occur the following year, if funds have been raised.

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Outdated HVAC system and an original chimney covered in plaster, MVLA.

Restoration Projects

Preservation work never ends. Each year Mount Vernon's experts restore parts of the Mansion and outbuildings.

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