Mary Scott Guest lecture series continues on April 3, 2019, at 6:00 pm with Tom A. Reinhart, Director of Architecture at George Washington's Mount Vernon.
George Washington resided, on and off, at his Virginia home, Mount Vernon, for over forty years. During this time, the dwelling grew from a middling, but pretentious, colonial gentry house to a unique ‘Mansion,’ which contained one of the most fashion-forward rooms in the new United States. Operated since 1860 as a museum, Mount Vernon has undergone conservation and reinterpretation approximately every thirty years and is currently in the midst of a restoration campaign begun in 2012. The current round of renewal is grounded on a rigorous re-reading of historical documentation, combined with careful forensics, including materials analysis, dendrochronology, and physical investigation. This talk will discuss Washington’s design and building choices, and how preservationists seek to faithfully return the Mansion to its appearance in the last year of Washington’s life and carefully untangle the entire history of the house from its construction in 1734 through restoration work of the late twentieth century.
Tom Reinhart is an architectural historian and archaeologist with more than 20 years of experience studying and preserving the colonial Chesapeake. He directed the State of Maryland’s architectural research program for over a decade, working with resources dating from the 17th through the 20th centuries. He is now Director of Architecture at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, leading the study and preservation of the first president’s home.