New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Good Word

This is Fraunces Tavern in downtown Manhattan, located at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street (click here for a photo of the building plaque). This establishment in the Fraunces Tavern Historic District, both museum and tavern, is a household name to most New Yorkers, being generally considered the oldest building in the city and known as the place where, on December 4, 1783 in the Long Room, General George Washington bid farewell to his officers at the war's end. However, the age of this building has been the subject of much controversy. The present structure is a reconstruction of the original by architect Mersereau in 1907 for the Sons of the Revolution. At the time, critical articles appeared with response from the architect. The original Fraunces Tavern was built as a residence in 1719 by Stephen Delancey. In 1762 it was sold to Samuel Fraunces, who turned it into a tavern. It was used for many pre and post revolutionary war purposes. After the war, when NYC served as the nation's capital, the tavern housed the offices of the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs. The building was rebuilt a number of times in the 1800s due to fires - the appearance of the original building is not known with any reasonable certainty. The reconstruction did incorporate remaining portions of the original structure, particularly some interior woodwork. The Fraunces Tavern Museum refers to the 1907 work as a restoration; the AIA guide refers to it as a "highly conjectural construction–not a restoration"; some may perhaps prefer the term reconstruction - what's the Good Word? ...


Anonymous said...

Wow. That is some building. And the photo is excellent.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Elliot said...

Great photo of Frances Tavern.

It's one of great colonial buildings of New York. It's sad the Tavern is over shadowed by 2 NY Plaza and 55 Water Street though.

Brian said...

Abraham, Elliot;
It's a beautiful building. I'm just a little disappointed to find out that it's essentially 100 years old, not 288. When seen in person, the brickwork and details are immaculate and crisp.

imagina said...

Really a nice photoblog, this one. i hope you will continue your work. There are lot of photoblogs around the web, only a few reach imagination. Have a nice day