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.
You are here
Gadsby's Tavern Museum
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.