Arlington House,
The Robert E. Lee Memorial

On a hillside overlooking Washington D.C. stands Arlington House.  This 19th-century mansion seems out of place amid the more than 250,000 military graves that stretch out around it.  The mansion was built by George Washington Park Custis, who intended it as a treasury of Washington heirlooms.  The original design was by George Hadfield, a young English architect who was for a time in charge of the consturction of the Capitol building.  The north and south wings of the house were completed between 1802 and 1804.  The large center section and the portico, 140 feet long, were finished 13 years later.   Today it is preserved as a memorial to Robert E. Lee who lived there with his family when the Civil War began. 


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