Washington's Headquarters and the Train Station will be closed January 1- February 18, 2011 for historic renovations and maintenance.
Take a private tour of Washington's Headquarters with one of our Park Rangers on YouTube. Check back later this month to view the renovations and maintenance that are currently taking place inside Headquarters.
Visitors enter the site on a hilltop with a dramatic view of the Schuylkill River and walk down into the historic landscape surrounding Headquarters. The completely restored 1913 Reading Railroad Station is the place where rangers will meet visitors for guided tours of Headquarters, which take place on the half hour. An exhibit on the archeology of the Valley Forge itself, which was burned during a British raid in 1777, is on display in the adjacent stable.
At Washington’s Headquarters, necessary repairs were made to woodwork, doors, windows, and shutters. Plaster was repaired on the interior, outdated mechanical equipment was removed, and UV screening was replaced on the windows. The exterior and interior were painted with historic colors. Furnishings, artifacts, and exhibit items were thoroughly cleaned and then reinstalled.
In August 2009, new exhibits on General Washington’s leadership and the resilience of the Continental Army at Valley Forge opened in the train station. The huts that represent General Washington's guard were furnished. New exhibits throughout the area bring the history of the former village of Valley Forge back to life.
The rehabilitation of the site also included removal of an oversized, intrusive parking lot and restoration of the historic terrain in that area. A new, smaller parking lot with handicapped-accessible parking and places for buses is tucked into a less visible place. New handicapped-accessible restrooms were built. A gathering space for large groups is provided. To protect adjacent Valley Creek, storm water runoff is collected and infiltrated in bio-swales and meadows were restored. A number of trees have been planted, with many more to come.
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Did You Know?
None of the original soldier huts remain. The huts that you see in the park today are reproductions based on the model that General Washington wanted the soldiers to follow. Despite a lack of tools and the relative haste in which they were built, most served as decent shelters for the troops.