“Our goal is to create a place of dialogue and learning. We invite visitors to be curious, to connect with the stories, and to be open to hard questions. Park rangers and volunteers will share inclusive stories about the many people and events connected to Arlington House,” said Charles Cuvelier in the release. Cuvelier is the George Washington Memorial Parkway superintendent and oversaw the renovation for the park service.
One of the living quarters for slaves sits behind Arlington House.
The project, which was originally scheduled to be completed in 2019, restored and modernized the house and the enslaved people’s living quarters. The grounds and kitchen garden were redesigned to improve accessibility, according to the park service.
“The National Park Service has done a spectacular job refurbishing Arlington House and telling the stories of the enslaved people who built the plantation house and worked there,” Rubenstein said in the release. “I hope many people get to visit and believe that Arlington House’s rich and complicated history will add to the necessary and important discussion in our country about racial justice.”
Custis’ daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married Lee at the house in 1831. They inherited the house shortly before the Civil War, but Lee left the house on April 22, 1861, and never returned.
Selina Gray and her husband lived in this room in the South Slave Quarters with their eight children.
Custis Lee then sold the house and 1,100-acre estate back to the government for $150,000, or approximately $4 million in 2021 dollars.
Before it closed for renovation, more than 650,000 people visited Arlington House each year, the park service said.
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