New George Washington Presidential Library Breaks Ground

George Washington’s home, Historic Mount Vernon, broke ground at a special ceremony on April 14 for a new $47 million presidential library.

The groundbreaking program featured remarks by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, an appearance by “George Washington,” and patriotic music will help to introduce George Washington‘s 45,000-square-foot new library to the public.

Planned George Washington Presidential Library Mount Vernon

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington will house 2,500 rare 18th and 19th-century books, including 80 books that were owned by Washington in addition to 500 letters, ledgers, and account books that bear George Washington‘s writing or signature.

The five-acre facility, located across from Mount Vernon‘s conservation complex, will safeguard Washington’s books and manuscripts, serve as a scholarly retreat, create educational outreach programs on Washington, and provide seminars and training programs with a special focus on Washington’s leadership. The anticipated completion date for the library is 2013.

Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, a private, non-profit organization founded in 1853 by Ann Pamela Cunningham. The Association is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country, and it has always been in the forefront of the restoration field. It is directed by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, who represent over 30 states. A Board of Advisors of prominent citizens from across the country meets twice a year to provide additional input on Mount Vernon’s governance. The estate, gift shops and dining facilities are operated by about 450 paid employees and over 400 volunteers.

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