In last month’s edition of Terrazzo Around the World, we traveled to Hollywood and shined the spotlight on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. This month we go back in history to take a look at Mt. Vernon, home of the first President of the United States George Washington.
Brief Terrazzo History
Yes, Washington lived in a house clad with terrazzo way before any of us were born, but terrazzo did not start in America. Terrazzo dates back over five hundred years in Italy. Venetian workers practically invented terrazzo by reusing marble chips and sealing floors with goat milk. It was not until the late 1700s that terrazzo was introduced into the United States. Since then, terrazzo has made its way into homes and commercial buildings.
Mt. Vernon’s History
Located in Fairfax County, Virginia, Mt. Vernon was built in 1743, making it one of the first United States landmarks to install terrazzo floors. Washington’s ancestors acquired the estate which was later named Mt. Vernon to commemorate Vice Admiral Edward Vernon. Vernon was the commanding officer in the British Royal Navy for George Washington’s older half-brother, Lawrence Washington. Mt. Vernon started out as a farmhouse, built by George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington until George Washington expanded the estate years later to include more decorative rooms. Around that time, Mt. Vernon was 10 times the size of the average home in colonial Virginia.
The home has many great interior elements but the one we will focus on is terrazzo. The style really gives a lot of value to homes. Regarded as a classic option, terrazzo provides an elegant look and feel.
Mt. Vernon has been around for over two hundred years and its floors are still being restored and maintained today. Terrazzo has great longevity due to its durability, which is a reason the mansion remains in good condition to this date.
You don’t need to be the president to have terrazzo floors. Actually, anybody can have terrazzo floors. Homes, schools, hospital and other commercial buildings have used terrazzo for floors, walls, countertops and other goods. It’s a great option for architects and designers to use. Terrazzo is aesthetically beautiful, complete with a unique design consisting of different shapes, patterns, and colors. Terrazzo has started to take off recently and we expect it to continue transforming architecture for years to come.
Since the Mt. Vernon estate became public in 1860, nearly 80 million visitors have toured Washington’s home.
It is incredibly fascinating that terrazzo still resonates in one of America’s greatest landmarks.
Source: Wikipedia; Mountvernon.org
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