Perched high atop Arlington National Cemetery, the former home of Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary will close for extensive renovations for one year beginning in Sept. 2016.
Operated by the National Park Service, Arlington House gets a long list of improvements from foundation fixes to painting the outside structure under a $12.5 million grant by Washington philanthropist David Rubenstein, whose past generous donations include paying $7.5 million to cover half of the repair costs of the Washington Monument following a 2011 earthquake. Nearby gardens and slave quarters will also be restored.
The goal is to return the mansion to its state of April 20, 1861 when Lee resigned from Union forces to instead lead Confederate troops in the coming Civil War. Park Service officials hope the home will become a primary destination by Arlington National Cemetery visitors.