Arlington National Cemetery

Your Guide
Dena Kennett, ASLA

Whether you are interested in history or horticulture, Arlington National Cemetery provides serene and lovely niches. Take Arlington House, for example, the Greek Revival mansion perched on a hill overlooking the District. For 30 years, it was home to Robert E. Lee, George Washington Parke Custis’ son-in-law, until Virginia’s secession in 1861.

Though we all have seen the iconic images of the precise rows of white headstones, visitors can not actually capture the perspective of unending rows until entering the grounds—an amazing achievement that makes the experience extremely poignant and personal. From Washington, D.C., it is Arlington House, on its grassy perch, that captures your attention, the tree canopy shelters the view of the graves, and the stone wall surrounding the cemetery only allows discrete glimpses as you skirt the perimeter. It isn’t until you are walking through the hallowed grounds that you are able to experience the undulating rows rising and falling with the topography, disappearing into the horizon.


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