Thursday, December 13, 2007

Potomac Beauty

This is the front of Mt. Vernon with its piazza. From this vantage point, the Washington's enjoyed breathtaking views of the Potomac River and, on the eastern side of the shore, the State of Maryland.

Today's picture shows the front of Mt. Vernon. Of particular note: notice what appear to be large sandstone bricks painted white that constitute the walls of the house. In fact, the house is built entirely of wood. To achieve this look, wood planks were cut and carved to appear like cut stone. The planks were then painted with white wash and sand was thrown on them to create a sandstone appearance. This technique is called rustication.

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


Bobbie said...

Good heavens! I would have never guessed. Would that area be so stone poor that this would be necessary? Or wood so plentiful that it made sense to do it this way?

D.C. Confidential said...

Bobbie: I think it was probably a combination of both. Quarrying sandstone would have been costly and required shipment from long distances. Washington's property would have been rich in trees, so it would be natural to use them as a resource. I love this little fact about his home!