Mrs. Custis, Mrs. Lee, and the Lee daughters used this sunny room to tender plants. Alternatively called a “conservatory,” “greenhouse,” and “Camellia House,” this room and the flower garden outside were places of responsibility and enjoyment for the ladies of Arlington.
The room was originally a cloister or porch formed by Roman arches on the west and south. Later, it was enclosed and a stove was added to provide warmth for the plants. It appears that the only set of stairs connecting the Conservatory to the rest of the house were the stairs that led into the Office. This is because, as a working greenhouse, the conservatory would not have been used as an entrance or traffic passage.
Last updated: November 18, 2015