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Watch George Washington’s tent installation at the Museum of the American Revolution

It’s been years in the making

A team of people install a large marquee tent.
George Washington’s tent will be one of the main exhibits at the Museum of the American Revolution.
Screenshot via Museum of the American Revolution

The final pieces of the Museum of the American Revolution are coming together ahead of its April 19 opening. But perhaps the biggest sigh of relief came last Friday, when after years of preparation a team of conservators and engineers finally installed what will be the museum’s main attraction: George Washington’s tent.

The first U.S. president lived in this marquee tent during the American Revolutionary War and it has been carefully passed down through the generations. This video that highlights the installation from last week squeezes the whole process down to one minute. In reality, however, this moment has been four years in the making.

Virginia Whelan, the lead textile conservator, put in 525 hours into repairing the fabric. Meanwhile, Engineers Keast & Hood designed a complex umbrella-like aluminum skeleton of poles that will support the structure while doing as little damage as possible to the delicate tent.

Very little of all of those man-hours will be noticeable in the exhibit come April, though. The tent will be housed in a 100-seat theater on the second floor of the museum in a climate-controlled glass box. And fun fact: The dozens of ropes holding up the tent will be purely for display.

You can read more about the tent’s history here.