After Years Of Restoration, Arlington Home Has Reopened

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After a number of years of restoration the Arlington Home, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, has reopened to the general public/NPS

After a number of years of painstaking restoration work involving greater than 1,000 historic objects, the Arlington Home, The Robert E. Lee Memorial has reopened to the general public.

The work, which began in 2018 because of a $12.35 million donation from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, concerned a full rehabilitation of the positioning and transformation of the customer expertise. New reveals and analysis enable the Nationwide Park Service to interpret the historical past of the Custis and Lee households alongside that of the greater than 100 enslaved individuals who labored on the plantation. Collectively, their tales reveal a extra full image of life at Arlington Home and of the folks and occasions that modified our nation. 

“Our aim is to create a spot of dialogue and studying. We invite guests to be curious, to attach with the tales, and to be open to onerous questions. Park rangers and volunteers will share inclusive tales in regards to the many individuals and occasions linked to Arlington Home,” stated Charles Cuvelier, superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. “David Rubenstein’s beneficiant donation improved each facet of the positioning, and the Nationwide Park Service is grateful for his continued help.”

In response to the Park Service, a go to right now reveals a layered historical past that has usually been untold—the expertise of the enslaved folks of Arlington Home. This historic place tells America’s story from its founding by means of the Civil Struggle, together with the impacts of slavery on the lives of those households, and the positioning’s conversion to a nationwide cemetery. Right now, it stands as a spot of dialogue and reflection to create a deeper understanding of the American expertise. By means of this venture, the NPS linked with descendants of the Lee, Syphax, Parks, Grey, Branham and Burkes households. A number of descendants helped the NPS inform a extra full historical past of Arlington Home.

“The Nationwide Park Service has finished a spectacular job refurbishing Arlington Home and telling the tales of the enslaved individuals who constructed the plantation home and labored there,” stated Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group. “I hope many individuals get to go to and consider that Arlington Home’s wealthy and sophisticated historical past will add to the required and necessary dialogue in our nation about racial justice.”

NPS curators labored to preserve or restore greater than 1,000 historic objects and bought 1,300 antiques or reproductions, together with a number of artifacts related to African American historical past that will likely be displayed for the primary time.

The venture stabilized the muse of Arlington Home, restored exterior finishes and {hardware}, recoated ornamental masonry faux-marble finishes, accomplished inside portray, repaired plaster, rehabilitated home windows and doorways, and reset the brick portico ground. The work additionally included new or improved electrical, lighting, safety, local weather administration and fireplace suppression techniques. The historic grounds and kitchen gardens had been realigned to permit for accessibility.

“The reopening of Arlington Home offers a spot for onerous and necessary conversations that illuminate extra views, together with the experiences of enslaved folks and their descendants,” stated Will Shafroth, Nationwide Park Basis president and CEO. “David Rubenstein’s beneficiant reward to the Nationwide Park Basis helped restore the plantation home and enslaved folks’s dwelling quarters and created new academic reveals, inspiring folks to mirror on the realities of our previous, take into account the way it informs the place we’re right now, and work collectively to create a extra simply and equitable future.

”Earlier than the rehabilitation, 650,000 folks visited Arlington Home annually, making it the most-visited historic home museum within the Nationwide Park System. Arlington Nationwide Cemetery was constructed round Arlington Home on the grounds of the historic 1,100-acre Arlington plantation.

Arlington Home is open day by day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To enter the plantation home, guests must get hold of a timed-ticket by means of recreation.gov. No tickets are required to go to the museum, north and south slave quarters, grounds and gardens.

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