Arlington House damaged by August's earthquake: Partially closed to visitors

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The Washington Monument is not the national capital's only iconic structure closed because of earthquake damage. Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington National Cemetery, was structurally damaged during August’s 5.8 earthquake. Examination revealed numerous ceiling and wall cracks plus a partial wall separation with a split down one corner in the rear of the house.

As a result, the National Park Service has closed the second floor and basement of the mansion to all visitors.

Built by George Washington Parke Custis between 1802 and 1817, Custis hired George Hadfield, a young English architect, to design the residence on the more than 1,100 acres he had inherited from his father, John Parke Custis. Raised by his grandmother and her second husband, George Washington, after his father’s death, young George Custis wanted the house to also become a “treasury” of Washington heirlooms, open to visitation by the public. Only one child of his marriage to Mary Lee Fitzhugh--Mary Anna Randolph Custis, born in 1808--survived to adulthood … and she would marry Lieutenant Robert E. Lee in the parlor of Arlington House on June 30, 1831....

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