President's House, College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 37° 16.252 W 076° 42.492
18S E 348545 N 4126288
Quick Description: The President's House of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, is a Georgian house built in 1732 and is one of the three buildings on campus that survive from that era.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 1/10/2010 4:09:35 PM
Waymark Code: WM81QZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Saddlesore1000
Views: 8

Long Description:
At the eastern end of the campus of William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA, there stands three buildings that date back to colonial times. The building on the north side is the President's House, which has been used as the residence of every college president except for one.

The building ties in with both the Wren building and the Brafferton Hall, which were all built in colonial times. The builder was Henry Cary, Jr., who also built the Brafferton Building.

The first president was James Blair, who lived there until his death in 1743. Blair is largely responsible for the establishment of William and Mary College and brought back from England the charter, endowments, and the design for the building today known as the Wren Building.

The building was temporarily occupied by British Army General Cornwallis before moving on to Yorktown, and by the French Army as a hospital during the battle of Yorktown. During this time, a fire broke out and, though no one was injured from the fire, much of the inside of the building was destroyed. King Louis XVI repaired the building at his expense. In 1931, it was restored to its colonial appearance when Rockefeller was restoring many of the buildings in Williamsburg in what is now Colonial Williamsburg.

The building has been used to receive many dignitaries. These are listed on the William and Mary College web site. A partial list includes President George Washington, President Thomas Jefferson, President Dwight Eisenhower, Marquis de Lafayette, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Charles.


XRoads (American Guide Series: Virginia - A Guide to the Old Dominion):
(visit link)
Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1723

Additional Dates of Construction:
1786 - Rebuilding after a fire whipped through the interior during occupation as a French Soldier hospital. 1931 - Restoration of the house to colonial appearance by the Rockefeller Restoration of Williamsburg 2006 - Renewal project upgraded heating and lighting systems, yet preserved historical aspects of the home.

Architectural Period/Style: Georgian

Architect (if known): Henry Cary, Jr.

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Stately Home, which has been the residence of almost every William and Mary College president.

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
- The first occupant was James Blair, the first college president, who lived there for ten years until his death in 1743. - It has been the residence of all but one of the college presidents. - It was the temporary headquarters for British Army General Cornwallis before the battle of Yorktown. - It was the hospital for French Soldiers during the Battle of Yorktown. - Dignitaries who have visited the home include many U.S. Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Dwight D. Eisenhower; the Marquis de Lafayette, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Winston Churchill and Charles, the Prince of Wales.

Listed Building Status (if applicable): Still in use as a residence

Main Material of Construction: Brick/masonry

Private/Public Access: Private

Admission Fee (if applicable): 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Related Website: [Web Link]


Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Opening Hours (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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xptwo visited President's House, College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA 9/2/2013 xptwo visited it
lesden visited President's House, College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA 7/6/2013 lesden visited it
KBW visited President's House, College of William and Mary - Williamsburg, VA 11/15/2011 KBW visited it

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