The Van Ness Mausoleum, designed by George Hadfield circa 1833, stands on a high knoll on one of the terraced hills of Georgetown's Oak Hill Cemetery. The Mausoleum was made as the family mausoleum for John Peter Van Ness; his wife, Marcia Burnes Van Ness; and their daughter and granddaughter.
Both the Van Ness family and George Hadfield were significant to the early history and development of Washington. John Van Ness was active in local politics and finance and Marcia Van Ness devoted much of her life to working for charitable institutions. George Hadfield was one of the first professional architects to practice in this country. His interpretation of classical prototypes for his design of the Van Ness Mausoleum resulted in one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in DC.
Hadfield's design for this circular classical temple incorporates the Greek Doric order and Roman elements and was inspired by the Romantic Classical Revival movement that dominated American architecture during the first half of the nineteenth century. The mausoleum originally stood on the south side of H Street, NW, between 9th and 10th Streets. It was moved to its present site in Oak Hill Cemetery in late 1872 or early 1873.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: December 17, 1982