The front parlor was a site of formal entertainment, featuring fine furnishings and architectural elements. George and Martha Washington's front parlor is now opened to the public, after a multi-year restoration project. Visitors can see the newly restored and refurnished room on their Mansion tour.
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Located in the Mansion

The Front Parlor

Front Parlor, Gavin Ashworth.

One of the most elaborately finished rooms in the house, the front parlor served as the primary entertaining space in the Mansion for most of the Washingtons’ lives. The room's origins date back to the initial construction period of the house, thus speaking not only to George Washington's life but also to the broader evolution of the house and estate. Through fine architectural features, artwork, and furnishings, the room was a means by which the Washingtons reinforced their elevated social status as a couple, as well as George Washington’s prominence in the social and political landscape.

Nearly every important politician and dignitary who visited the Washingtons was entertained in this space, from the Marquis de Lafayette to Thomas Jefferson. The space was primarily identified with the lady of the house, and here Martha Washington presided over the tea table and showed off her family through the many portraits that she had commissioned and had hung on the walls.

Objects in the Room

Objects in the Room

The front parlor and its furnishings are a complex compilation of objects that evolved over more than forty years of the Washingtons’ marriage.

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Form and Function

Form and Function

The architecture of a room, particularly its form and finishes, can provide a great deal of information about the function of the space within a building.

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History of the Front Parlor

History of the Front Parlor

George and Martha Washington spent much of their time in this lavish room. It was a site of formal entertainment, featuring fine furnishings and architectural elements, as well as the Washingtons' portraiture collection.

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Changes through Time

Changes through Time

Since the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association purchased Mount Vernon, the organization has worked to restore each room to how it was during Washington's life. Over the years, a number of changes have occurred in the front parlor.

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