Skip to main content

Restoration Files for the Historic Structures Report

Identifier: A-RST

Scope and Contents

This collection contains original records and photocopied documentation that was compiled in the early 1990s to provide necessary assistance for the preparation of the Historic Structures Report. Original materials include correspondence of Mount Vernon Superintendents, employees, and Vice Regents, accounts and financial documents, reports, photographs, and architectural drawings. Photocopied or printed documents were taken from ledgers, accounts, and correspondence of George Washington and his staff, published primary and secondary sources, and MVLA reports. The dates of original materials range from the 1860s to 2005, however, the date range of information from the files is from the 1750s to 2005.


  • Other: 1750s-2005
  • 1860s-2005

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to research during scheduled appointments. Researchers must complete the Washington Library’s Special Collections and Archives Registration Form before access is provided. According to the policies of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, certain records in the archives may only be available for research 30 years after creation or file date. The library reserves the right to restrict access to items for preservation purposes.

Biographical / Historical

Mount Vernon’s Restoration Department is responsible for all maintenance and repairs to every historic structure on the estate. Because of the unique and historic nature of the Mansion and all outbuildings, special expertise in historic building methods and structures is necessary to complete all of the necessary restoration work done to Mount Vernon’s historic property. While there has always been staff dedicated to these tasks, the goals and demands of the profession have evolved and increased the need for highly skilled experts in the field of restoration. A structural survey of the Mansion was conducted in 1989 and recommended the completion of a historic structures report before any other major renovations were completed. The architectural firm Mesick-Cohen-Waite was hired to compile this report which was finished in 1993. Extensive historic documentation was necessary to complete the report and these Restoration Files are the final product of that work. Mount Vernon Library staff, restoration staff, and volunteers worked for months to collect this information that was vital for the success of the report. Later studies and reports, dated into the 2000s, were added to these files in order to keep the files up-to-date and complete. According to the 1992 Minutes of the MVLA, the Historic Structures Report is invaluable and “presents for the first time a comprehensive chronology and various interpretations of the development of the Mansion house. It offers a systematic arrangement of the measured drawings collection, condition reports of all Mansion spaces, hardware analysis, recommended repairs, etc.”


14 Cubic Feet (13 cartons, 2 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into 3 series. The first series focuses on the buildings and structures themselves as well as specific features of buildings, and documents details and changes to each location. Series 2 is made up of journal entries, ledgers, and lists that are relevant to different areas on the estate. The last series compiles all reports that aided in the Historic Structures Report, or reports that were built off of the HSR. All series are filed alphabetically by title, then chronologically. Series 1. Buildings Series 2. Journals and Inventories Series 3. Reports

Related Materials

MVLA Minutes and Annual Reports, MVLA Publications, Measured drawings, photographs, Papers of the MVLA, Bound Volumes of the Superintendent's Letters, Diaries, and Monthly Reports

Processing Information

Original order was kept, however file naming and alphabetical order was “cleaned-up” to maintain controlled vocabulary. By request of the Restoration Department no records were discarded.

Created in 2015 by Rebecca Baird, Project Archivist, and Michaela Feltman, intern
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association Repository

PO Box 3600
Mount Vernon VA 22121 USA