Home to George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and a founding father and signatory to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Gunston Hall is a Georgian mansion near the Potomac River in Mason Neck, Va. Constructed in the middle of a 550-acre tobacco and wheat plantation between 1755 and 1759, the architectural treasure is not far from Mount Vernon, where George Washington once resided.
Few changes have been made to the mansion since its completion in 1759, making it a vital example of an architectural moment in colonial Virginia. Designed and constructed by William Bernard and William Buckland, the mansion's eclectic interiors illustrate the 18th century's Rococo style—a central passageway incorporates French Modern and Neoclassical elements; a porch reflects Gothic style; one room is designed in a "Chinese Taste"; and a doorway and cornice are embellished with Palladianism elements. The two men also produced furniture for the "Chinese Room," a rare feature at the time.
In 1949, the mansion was gifted to the Commonwealth of Virginia to be administered by the Board of Regents of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Now a museum accredited by the American Association of Museums, Gunston Hall is open to the public and features exhibits, a visitors' center and museum shop.
During 2014-15, Gunston Hall's 4,500-square-foot slate roof systems were renovated to original cedar shakes specifications by Ruff Roofers Inc., Baltimore.