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Gadsby's Tavern Museum

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c. 1770, 1782, 1792. 1878, ell. Restorations: 1932–1934, Milton Grigg; 1936, Thomas T. Waterman; 1976, J. Everett Fauber, Jr. 134 N. Royal St. Open to the public
  • Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, the smaller of which was originally Wise's Coffee House and Tavern (c. 1770). In 1782 Wise remodeled and enlarged the tavern, creating a symmetrical two-story brick structure with delicate detailing. Next door is the three-story City Tavern and Hotel (1792), asymmetrical and awkward. John Gadsby operated a tavern and hotel in the buildings from 1796 to 1808. The Metropolitan Museum of Art installed the ballroom from the City Tavern in its American Wing (c. 1924), but otherwise the buildings survive largely intact. Saved by the American Legion in 1929, they were presented to the city, which restored them as a museum and eighteenth century–style restaurant, as part of the fashion for Williamsburg-iana that swept Virginia in those years. A replica of the original ballroom has been installed on the second floor of the City Tavern. More restoration was done for the U.S. Bicentennial.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Gadsby's Tavern Museum", [Alexandria, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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