Ready For A Close-Up

Mount Airy Plantation gets a (televised) facelift.

Mount Airy Plantation.

Photo by Mary Leipertz

Here’s proof that everything old can be new again. The more than 250-year-old Mount Airy Plantation, which has been occupied continuously by 10 generations of the Tayloe family, will experience a first this year: television stardom. HGTV will air 10 episodes of the new show—tentatively-titled  Colonial Rehab—in 2015, featuring the restoration of the Northern Neck estate originally built by Col. John Tayloe II in 1758. Current owners Tayloe and Catherine Bouldin Emery will host, providing inside access to their renovation of the neo-Palladian home’s west wing.  

The show is an important step forward in the Emerys’ quest to  balance the preservation of Mount Airy’s deep history with their aim to make it a self-supporting business. They have opened the house, which sits on 1,400 acres of marsh and forest along the Rappahannock River, for tours, weddings and hunting excursions. In addition, Catherine operates Mount Airy Gardens, a flower farm on the grounds of the plantation. Soon, the sweeping terraces that once hosted George Washington will have millions of new guests—all  viewers who won’t even have to leave the couch. MountAiryPlantation.com

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