Historic George Washington home becomes Airbnb


"We have tourists coming by every day; there's always tourists coming by the front of the house."

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — Visiting Old Town, Alexandria any time soon? As of this summer, you can stay in a house formerly owned by President George Washington.

Alexandria couple Martha and Steven Peterson purchased the property, which was privately owned for decades, last fall. She and her son, Chase Whitley, got to work renovating and designing the inside. The home sleeps 20.

Known as The George, Airbnb has two sitting rooms, a dining room and a kitchen. Each bedroom — named for a U.S. president — comes with four tickets to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate. The kitchen is original to Washington’s era.

“Because this was his property — all of this property on this block was George Washington’s property — it is tremendously popular for that very reason. We have tourists coming by every day; there’s always tourists coming by the front of the house,” Peterson said.

So far, Peterson says The George is averaging about an 80 percent occupancy rate.

Despite having been owned by Washington’s, the inside has a contemporary feel. “My son and I did the decorating together and you’d think I’d be the traditional one and he’d be the modern — it’s the opposite. He’s my little grandma. We work together really well,” said Peterson.

Peterson and Whitley did their homework. They studied the architecture at the Mount Vernon estate and mirrored it in the Old Town home’s architectural design. Each panel of the foyer’s wallpaper is a scene in Virginia.

“It’s really fun, actually, for me to see people using the space or doing their work or reading the newspaper in the living room,” said Whitley. “They’re really appreciative and kind of love the house, which is really rewarding after doing all this work.”

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