Washington's letters described planned renovations to the house. These letters and other documents helped us know the outline of the original house and changes to the design. Archeologists discovered a previously unknown kitchen basement and underground passageway connecting this basement to the one under the main house. In these spaces enslaved Africans and free and indentured servants carried out many of their domestic chores out of sight of the Washington family, guests, and official visitors to the house.
The foundation of the house confirmed the addition of a two-story bow window that President Washington had added to the house to afford more spacious and fashionable rooms for his formal receptions. Such bow windows were the height of fashion during the 1790s. Archeologists noted that there are no definitive presidential artifacts, but that the basement foundations are the significant features.
The space where some of the enslaved stable lands slept is a mere five feet from the entrance to the Liberty Bell Center. You can no longer see the room, but you can imagine the voices of those whose daily lives stood in stark contrast to those of the founders who declared, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Right, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."