Monday, December 10, 2007

Interior: Mt. Vernon

Scale model of Mt. Vernon's interior. These are the rooms on the front of the house.
To see the rooms in more detail, click on the picture.

I mentioned yesterday that the Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, which oversees and maintains George and Martha Washington's estate, recently opened a new visitor's center, education center, and museum. Previous to last year's opening, visitor's to the estate would merely enter the grounds, tour the home, gardens, and outbuildings, see the tombs of the Washingtons, and wrap up by visiting the gift shops. Now, you're greeted in a visitor's center by a scale model of the home with panels that open to reveal the interior of the home and its furnishings.

Photography isn't allowed in the house itself, so if you want pictures of what the inside of the home looks like and you don't want to buy a stack of postcards in the gift shop, this is your best chance for inside pictures. The front of the house model is permanently open, while a different set of panels on the sides and back open every three minutes. In the span of nine minutes, you can see into a different side of the house.

This shot is a view of the rooms that are on the front of the house, which faces the Potomac River. Note the brightness of the colors in the rooms. In Mr. and Mrs. Washington's day, paint was not a common element in homes and was incredibly expensive. If you had it, it was a sign of wealth. The brighter it was, the more prosperous you were. By today's standards, some of the colors are garish, but in their day, they would have been extraordinary. Would you like to paint your main dining room in Verdigris? You can. Go to Duron to get the Estate of Colours Collection!

Of note is this: When George Washington inherited Mt. Vernon from his half-brother, Lawrence, the house was originally only comprised of the middle section. Over the years, Washington added the dining room to the north, private quarters for he and Mrs. Washington to the south, and storage and smaller quarters in the attic.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 12/07


Bobbie said...

OK, now you have me hooked on your blog! I love this historical information about our most beloved city and especially this post with the "interior" view of Washington's house.

Lara said...

what a nice idea! and again, that must be a great place to visit!