Woodlawn Plantation was the home of Washington's nephew, who married Washington's adopted granddaughter. Washington gave the couple the property to build their home from his holdings at Mount Vernon. William Thornton, one of the first architects of the U.S. Capitol building, designed the Georgian-style house. You can see the Potomac from the back porch.
The house has much Washington-related memorabilia on its two floors, as well as many early American works of art (two Rembrandt Peales and a Hiram Powers bust). One of the most intriguing items on display is a mourning embroidery by Anna Austin that features a woman crying over a large memorial urn; the woman disappears and reappears as an angel when you change perspective.Pope-Leighey House
The grounds of the Woodlawn Plantation are also home to the Pope-Leighey house, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest Usonian houses (designed for middle-income families), and one whose construction he personally oversaw. It was commissioned by newspaperman Loren Pope, who was so taken with a
The small three-bedroom house was built in 1939 in Falls Church, Virginia (it has been moved twice by the National Trust, which now runs it), and has many of the signature Wright elements: a small utility center where the kitchen and bathroom are housed (the size of those in a small one-bedroom apartment), a cantilevered roof, horizontal lines, a repeating fret stencil pattern on the windows, and next to no closets.
Although Pope loved the house, his family outgrew it, and it was sold to the Leighey family, who lived there until the 1980s and opened it to the public in 1996. Much of the original furniture and color scheme is preserved. When the house was commissioned, its purchase price of between $6,000 and $7,000 included the furniture. During the month of December, a 1940s Christmas is on display at the house.The Woodlawn Plantation Gift Shop
There is a gift shop in the basement that offers many wonderful Early American gifts and T-shirts (and you can see the old well, which was one of the first successful attempts at indoor plumbing). There is also a gift store in the Pope-Leighey House, so you can buy many Frank Lloyd Wright knickknacks as well, such as cups, a mouse pad, and canvas bags, with the decorative fret design from the house's windows.
Most architects consider Frank Lloyd Wright the greatest and most influential American architect. His designs, which spanned nearly fifty years, influenced American homes to such an extent that we might not have the ranch house with its open living-room space connected to the kitchen and the carport if it were not for his vision of the American home.
Woodlawn Plantation is adjacent to Mount Vernon. You can actually walk from Mount Vernon to Woodlawn, but take your car if you have one. The estate is open daily March through December, closed January and February, but it is open on Presidents' Day for ninety-nine cents admission. Guided docent-led tours are offered on the half hour for $7.50 per person and $3 for students. You can buy a joint tour ticket to see the Pope-Leighey house as well for $13 ($5 for students). High tea is offered at the Woodlawn Plantation at noon and 2