Oct 7, 2013

dead presidents houses

if you follow me on instagram, then you know that i was in washington DC last weekend, and the better part of last week, accompanying my husband on a business trip with the salt lake city chamber of commerce.
it was an action packed trip that included a visits from both utah senators, several congressman and other speakers, dinner at the capitol building, a few museums (before the shut down. ugh. don't get me started on THAT.), and field trips to two historic homes of our founding fathers.
right up my ally. 
i love history and i love architecture, and so naturally i am a sucker for historic architecture.

first up--mount vernon, the home of george washington. this was my first trip here, and has been on my bucket list forever.
the setting of this home is spectacular....right on the potomac river, and surrounded by trees and gardens. we arrived shortly before sunset, and the lighting and the weather were just beautiful.

the house started as a very simple story and-a-half cape cod style structure, and was slowly added onto through the years. notice how it's not symmetrical?

a window on the side of the house. pure gorgeousness.

even though the house looks like it might be made from sand stone, it is actually wood! pine, to exact.
to recreate the look of stone, sand was thrown onto wet paint, a process called rustication. isn't that interesting?
the shutter color is original... a pretty, dark hunter green.

a detail on one of the dozen or so outbuildings. 

 before we walked through the house, they took us through the basement of the house. (we were not allowed to take pictures in the main areas of the house.)
this is a peek at one of the storage areas in the basement---i loved the herringbone brick floors.

 a view from the back of the house, which faces the potomac river. not too shabby of a view, huh?

one of the doors leading to the main entrance of the estate. i dont think these are original, but i loved the detail and the brickwork.

the floors on the nearby inn at mount vernon, where we had dinner.

and now---
a quick peek at monticello, located just outside of charlottesvillle virginia, about a 2 hour drive from washington dc.
 this is the front of the house.

and the back of the house, which is a little more impressive.

 detail of the entry--columns, porch ceiling, windows, soffit and frieze.

the amount of detail is staggering. there was a similar feel in many of the moldings on the inside of the house...once again, we were not allowed to take pictures!

 i was kinda obsessed with the fact that there were several different patterns on the fencing...they were in a repeating pattern where every 5th was the same.  i couldn't decide which was my favorite!

 a door on one of the stables, located under the deck above.

 a tunnel, which spans the entire length of the house and connects the service areas on both sides of the property.

 a view of the garden pavilion and gardens.

 the crest on the gate surrounding the family cemetery.

and finally---a little side trip to the university of virginia, planned by thomas jefferson in the last years of his life.
 the rotunda. this was originally used as classrooms and a study area.

the student and faculty living areas, as well as other classrooms are located in these other connecting buildings. this was a revolutionary idea at the time---to have separate areas for different disciplines of learning. some of the students and faculty to this day live in these areas.

 isnt this gorgeous?

 inside the rotunda, there are oval classrooms, and an hourglass shapes hall with these giant brass lanterns....

 one of the oval classrooms. love that molding!

a view of the oculus at the  top of the rotunda. (pretty stunning in person, i must say!)

the trip was really amazing, and getting to see these homes was one of the best parts of the trip.
if you go to DC, be sure to set aside some time to see these architectural treasures.

to read more about mount vernon, click here.
to read more about monticello, click here.
to read more about the universtity of virginia, click here.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the wine room at Monticello. Both homes are so beautiful.