The house was constructed in 1735 by Washington's father, Augustine Washington and was inherited upon the death in 1752 of Washington's older half-brother, Lawrence. Washington lived at Mount Vernon for the rest of his life (d. 1799).
Washington played a central role in designing the Mansion, outbuildings, and surrounding landscape at Mount Vernon. With a general lack of professional architects in eighteenth century America, Washington followed a common path for estate holders, consulting a variety of sources to assist in developing plans, including: books on building, architecture, and garden design, inspiration from other structures and gardens, and advice from artisans and builders.
Washington began planning the second rebuilding of Mount Vernon in 1773. During this renovation Washington worked to design a house that was original. However, the design also was inspired by many details derived from the neo-classical aesthetic popularized by the Italian architect and author, Andrea Palladio. Washington was exposed to the ideals and designs of Palladianism through a variety of builder’s guides often referred to as "pattern books" that were published in the eighteenth century.
(The Miller Center)
Few renderings exist of the original Mount Vernon, but Washington obviously had very good taste. The spot is lovely and untouched. Go see it!