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Architecture of Past and Present Mount Vernon

Whether it be through renovations or basic maintenance, George Washington was always working to enhance his home at Mount Vernon. Today, we wish to hold onto his ambitious spirit of architecture and continue to improve and maintain the grounds. Check out all of the cool stuff that George Washington and the staff at Mount Vernon have done to keep the spirit of architecture alive and well!

George Washington, An Architect

Since George Washington inherited Mount Vernon from his half-brother Lawrence, he began his journey as an architect out of practicality. Originally, Washington expanded the estate to fit his needs. However, after 1773, George Washington started to take a more serious role in constructing the estate.

More about Washington and Architecture

The Exterior

Mount Vernon was constructed with a specific vision in mind. George Washington wanted a dramatic but practical home for his family. 

Exterior Architectural Details

The Construction of the Cupola Tower

Cupola Towers were originally only used on public buildings, so constructing one on private buildings, like Mount Vernon, was a relatively new fad in the 18th Century. By doing this, George Washington was rewriting the norm of houses in the early colonies, setting his house apart from those surrounding it. 

The Cupola Tower was not only used for show. It was also an important feature of 18th century air conditioning.

More on the Cupola Tower

George Washington: A Trendsetter

After constructing Mount Vernon in a very artistic and dramatic fashion, it is of no surprise that many American citizens have wished to copy its infamous look. 

Check out the link below to learn more about how Mount Vernon helped shape domestic architecture all over the country!

Mount Vernon and American Domestic Architecture

Take a Virtual Tour

Fun Fact

Mount Vernon was actually made of wood and was rusticated to look like stone.


Preserving Washington's View

Over the years, there have been many threats to Washington's view. However, thanks to the efforts of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and our many public and private partners, it remains largely unchanged.

Washington's View

Digital Encyclopedia: Architecture

Interested in learning more about architecture here at Mount Vernon? Click below to explore the past, present, and even future hopes for the construction and preservation of Mount Vernon

More on Architecture

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association Timeline

For more than 160 years the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association has worked to preserve George Washington's home. Read this timeline to see the progression of renovations and the obstacles they overcame.

Mount Vernon over Time

This page is made possible through the generous support of Battelle