Arlington, VA (PRWEB) August 18, 2014
One hundred and fifty years after Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs confiscated the home and grounds of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to create Arlington Cemetery, their respective great grandnephew and great grandson have joined forces in support of a citizen’s group – Save Historic Arlington House, Inc. – to renovate and restore Arlington House and its grounds in time for the Mansion’s Bicentennial in 2018.
More than 3 million visitors from all 50 states and more than 40 nations annually visit Arlington National Cemetery, many of whom visit the Mansion which overlooks the cemetery. Arlington House originally was intended as a memorial to our first president George Washington and was the last pre-civil war residence of, Robert E. Lee.
Today, descendants General Montgomery Meigs (retired US Army), Robert E. Lee IV, and other local volunteers comprise the nonprofit citizens group Save Historic Arlington House (SHAH), dedicated to the estate’s restoration and preservation, and advancement of research and educational programming. Working with the National Park Service since 2005, Save Historic Arlington House has been a partner in restoring the house through its fund raising and research efforts. SHAH also supports the Park Service as volunteers and docents.
The irony of the situation – having two direct descendants working together – doesn’t escape the President of Save Historic Arlington House. “The fact that General Meigs and R.E. Lee IV are both SHAH board members emeritus is quite amazing considering their ancestors were on opposite sides of the matter,” said Gene Cross, SHAH President. “At the same time,” said Cross, “it reflects the compelling and diverse history that is Arlington House!”
Recently, Arlington House received word that “Patriotic Philanthropist” David Rubenstein pledged $12.35 million to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks to restore the Mansion and its surrounding grounds. The renovations will allow for a better visitor experience to the growing number of local, national and international visitors and will allow SHAH – in conjunction with the National Park Service – to provide enhanced interpretive and educational programs for these visitors.
“The proper restoration of Arlington House is important to American history because the House reflects our nation's own history at its most intimate and most profound,” said Cross. “We couldn’t be happier for the National Park Service, our partner with whom we share a common vision for Arlington House. And we are grateful to Mr. Rubenstein for his generous gift.”
To learn more about Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, go to http://www.nps.gov/arho/index.htm. To learn more about Save Historic Arlington House, its efforts, or to make a donation, go to http://www.arlingtonhouse.org.
To learn more about Mr. Rubenstein's gift, go to http://www.nps.gov/arho/parknews/david-rubenstein-donates-lead-centennial-gift-of-12-million-dollars-to-the-national-park-foundation-to-restore-arlington-house.htm.
About Save Historic Arlington House (SHAH)
Save Historic Arlington House was formally incorporated in 2010, but the work of many members of its Board of Trustees dates back to 2005. SHAH is dedicated to the proper restoration and preservation of the historic house that was home to the families of George Washington Parke Custis and Robert E. Lee.
Through the advancement of research and educational opportunities, and expanding its recognition nationally, SHAH endeavors to do justice to the rich and colorful history of Arlington House by providing a better understanding of, and appreciation for, those who called Arlington House home.
To grow support for Historic Arlington House, SHAH focuses its mission on:
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