Landslides Damage Mount Vernon's Potomac Riverfront

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is dealing with major damage to its Potomac River waterfront, and urgently needs to be stabilized, according to preservationists.

The 1700s-era mansion that our first president once called home is on top of a hill that slopes down to the Potomac. But the area’s increasingly wet weather has led to numerous landslides in recent years.

The worst single incident was a severe storm in August 2017 that dumped several inches of rain on Mount Vernon in a single hour. A landslide sheared off part of the estate’s East Slope and damaged a big piece of the wall that overlooks the river.

Mount Vernon staff worked quickly to stabilize the impacted area and put erosion-control measures in place. But when Mount Vernon leaders brought in archaeologists, soil, civil, and structural engineers, they learned that if another collapse were to happen, the estate’s Old Tomb and the ice house could be destroyed.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is trying to determine the best plan to protect the mansion and its outbuildings ahead of future weather events. But because Mount Vernon is a nonprofit, receiving no government funds, they’re looking for donations to help fill the urgent preservation needs.

To find out more or to make a donation, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano