Solid Light is pleased to announce the award-winning firm has been selected for Phase I of the exhibition revitalization of Discover the Real George Washington in the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center at George Washington’s Mount Vernon for the 250th anniversary of the birth of the United States (July 2026).
Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. Over 96 million people have visited Mount Vernon since 1860, when the estate officially opened to the public. Today, Mount Vernon welcomes an average of one million guests each year. After Washington’s Mansion, Discover the Real George Washington, the exhibition on George Washington’s biography, is the most popular destination at Mount Vernon. Approximately half of all Mount Vernon’s guests visit the exhibition. Those visitors include student groups, tour groups, families, and individuals both locally based and from around the world. The 21,000 square-foot exhibition contains 13 galleries and 4 theater spaces.
Phase 1 of the project consists of design and exhibit development with three major areas of focus: layout, story, and technology. Mount Vernon will remain open throughout the project; however, portions of the education center may be temporarily impacted as the project progresses.
“I still recall the awe I felt as a child visiting Mount Vernon for the first time. I stood on the grassy hill overlooking the Potomac River realizing that George Washington may have walked in that very spot, and my young mind came alive with excitement,” says Cynthia Torp, CEO and Owner of Solid Light. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with Mount Vernon and to make this exciting announcement.”
“We are so pleased to partner with Solid Light on this critical and exciting project that will be a cornerstone of Mount Vernon’s gift to the Nation in 2026,” says Allison Wickens, Mount Vernon’s Vice President for Education. “Their innovation in emotional story mapping and their production informed design approach made them a natural fit to our project. They will ensure we meet our goals to create a meaningful and powerful biographical experience exhibit that builds from the existing strengths of the current exhibition.”
Mount Vernon is owned and maintained in trust for the people of the United States by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization (501c3) founded in 1853 by Ann Pamela Cunningham. At the forefront of the field, the Association is the oldest national historic preservation organization in the country.