For an Architect practicing in any era since Monticello was built, it has always been easy to enter into Jefferson's process--to commune with the models and the methods he sat down with as he designed (time and again) the house that he built as a monument to his ideas and his place in history. In part, this has been because he planned and drew much as we do today. We have the drawings. We know (and can quickly avert our eyes from) the form of labor. We can hold these two-dimensional maps up to the brilliant artifact, and be satisfied, with ourselves, that we have made a connection to the past. Mount Vernon, however, has had to wait for the Dalzells to read, for us, the full and fully three-dimensional process of its becoming. This beautifully written book brings to George Washington's home, a context of meaning and National symbolism that time and distance had almost obliterated. The book is a restoration project: and as such, it is a key compliment to the preservation work so ably executed over the years by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. I heartily recommend this book to architects (amateur and professional), their clients (who may find comfort in learning that building has always been a trial), architectural historians, or anyone at all who is curious about the faithfulness of our democracy to the designs of one of its primary draftsmen.