BACKSTORY: George Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon began as a one and one-half story farmhouse built in 1735 by his father, Augustine, and received its well-known name during the ownership of his half-brother Lawrence. George acquired Mount Vernon in 1754, and over the next 45 years slowly enlarged the dwelling to create the resplendent 21-room residence we see today. Washington personally supervised each renovation; advising on design, construction and decoration—even during the Revolutionary War. Conscious that the world was watching, Washington selected architectural features that expressed his growing status as a Virginia gentleman planter and ultimately as the leader of a fledgling democratic nation.
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