The restoration of Dodona Manor, the Leesburg home of Gen. George C. Marshall, is expected to get a boost in the form of $250,000 in federal funding under consideration by Congress.
Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) is scheduled to join Leesburg Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd and members of the George C. Marshall International Center's board of directors at the 19th-century farmhouse tomorrow to announce the planned funds.
The money would come from a Department of Housing and Urban Development account designed to help communities with economic development. The House Appropriations Committee included the money in a bill that is expected to be considered by the full House and Senate this fall.
Marshall served as Army chief of staff during World War II and later as secretary of state and defense. He is perhaps best known as the architect of the massive U.S.-led plan that bears his name to rebuild Europe after World War II. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
Marshall bought the Leesburg estate with his wife, Katherine, in 1941, and the couple used it as a country retreat.
"Marshall loved Leesburg," said Anne Horstman, executive vice president of the center. "He was a very busy man who traveled everywhere. Leesburg and Loudoun County offered him just a wonderful getaway."
The George C. Marshall International Center bought the home in 1995 and launched the restoration project four years later. The exterior has been completed, which leaves work only on the items that will fill the inside and the gardens and landscaping on the four-acre property, Horstman said. The home is scheduled to open to the public in November 2005.
In all, the restoration will cost $3 million to $5 million. It is being funded by a combination of private and public sources, Horstman said.
A tour of the house, she said, will allow visitors to explore a 19th-century structure while experiencing the nostalgia of the furnishings installed by the Marshalls during the 1940s and '50s. Educational displays will cover pivotal events in which Marshall played an important role.
A spokeswoman for Wolf's office said the congressman believes the manor will play an important role in attracting visitors to the region.
"By restoring Dodona Manor, we feel we will continue to promote the tourism industry," said spokeswoman Anne McClure.