Fraunces Tavern

Last updated

Fraunces Tavern Block
Frauncestavern.JPG
North and west fronts of Fraunces Tavern on Pearl Street at Broad Street
Fraunces Tavern
LocationBounded by Pearl Street, Coenties Slip, Water Street and Broad Street, New York, NY
BuiltVarious
ArchitectVarious
Architectural styleVarious
NRHP reference No. 77000957 [1]
NYCHD No.0994
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 28, 1977
Designated NYCHDNovember 14, 1978 [2]
Fraunces Tavern
Fraunces Tavern, south side.jpg
West front of Fraunces Tavern on Broad Street
Location54 Pearl Street, New York, NY
Coordinates 40°42′12″N74°0′41″W / 40.70333°N 74.01139°W / 40.70333; -74.01139 Coordinates: 40°42′12″N74°0′41″W / 40.70333°N 74.01139°W / 40.70333; -74.01139
Built1719
Architectural style Georgian
NRHP reference No. 08000140 [3]
NYCL No.0030
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 6, 2008
Designated NYCLNovember 23, 1965

Fraunces Tavern is a museum and restaurant in New York City, situated at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. The location played a prominent role in history before, during, and after the American Revolution. At various points in its history, Fraunces Tavern served as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic.

Contents

Fraunces Tavern has been owned since 1904 by Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc., which carried out a major conjectural reconstruction, and claim it is Manhattan's oldest surviving building. The museum interprets the building and its history, along with varied exhibitions of art and artifacts. [4] The tavern is a tourist site and a part of the American Whiskey Trail and the New York Freedom Trail. [5] [6] It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a New York City designated landmark. In addition, the block on which Fraunces Tavern is located is a National Historic Landmark District and a New York City designated landmark district.

Early history

Pre-Revolutionary history

New York Mayor Stephanus van Cortlandt built his home in 1671 on the site, but retired to his manor on the Hudson River and gave the property in 1700 to his son-in-law, Etienne "Stephen" DeLancey, a French Huguenot who had married Van Cortlandt's daughter, Anne. The DeLancey family contended with the Livingston family for leadership of the Province of New York.

DeLancey built the current building as a house in 1719. The small yellow bricks used in its construction were imported from the Dutch Republic and the sizable mansion ranked highly in the province for its quality. [7] His heirs sold the building in 1762 to Samuel Fraunces who converted the home into the popular tavern, first named the Queen's Head.

Before the American Revolution, the building was one of the meeting places of the secret society, the Sons of Liberty. During the tea crisis caused by the British Parliament's passage of the Tea Act 1773, the patriots forced a British naval captain who tried to bring tea to New York to give a public apology at the building. [8] The patriots, disguised as American Indians (like those of the Boston Tea Party), then dumped the ship's tea cargo into New York Harbor.

In 1768, the New York Chamber of Commerce was founded by a meeting in the building. [9]

Revolution

In August 1775, Americans, principally the 'Hearts of Oak' – a student militia of Kings College, of which Alexander Hamilton was a member – took possession of cannons from the artillery battery at the southern point of Manhattan and fired on HMS Asia. The British Royal Navy ship retaliated by firing a 32-gun broadside on the city, sending a cannonball through the roof of the building.

When the war was all but won, the building was the site of "British-American Board of Inquiry" meetings, which negotiated to ensure to American leaders that no "American property" (meaning former slaves who were emancipated by the British for their military service) be allowed to leave with British troops. Led by Brigadier General Samuel Birch, board members reviewed the evidence and testimonies that were given by freed slaves every Wednesday from April to November 1783, and British representatives were successful in ensuring that almost all of the loyalist blacks of New York maintained their liberty and could be evacuated with the "Redcoats" when they left if so desired. [10] Through this process, Birch created the Book of Negroes.

Washington's farewell to his officers

"Washington's Farewell to His Officers"
Washington's Farewell by Alonzo Chappel 1866.jpg
Engraving after painting by Alonzo Chappel
DateDecember 4, 1783 (1783-12-04)
LocationFraunces Tavern, Broad and Pearl Streets, New York Town

A week after British troops had evacuated New York on November 25, 1783, the tavern hosted an elaborate "turtle feast" dinner, on December 4, 1783, in the building's Long Room for U.S. Gen. George Washington during which he bade farewell to his officers of the Continental Army by saying "[w]ith a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable." After his farewell, he took each one of his officers by the hand for a personal word. [11] [12] [13]

Post-Revolution

In January 1785, New York City became the seat of the Confederation Congress, the nation's central government under the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union." The departments of Foreign Affairs, Finance and War had their offices at Fraunces Tavern.

With the ratification of the United States Constitution in March 1789, the Confederation Congress's departments became federal departments, and New York City became the first official national capital. The inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States took place in April 1789. Under the July 1789 Residence Act, Congress moved the national capital to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a 10-year period, while the permanent national capital was under construction in what is now Washington, D.C. The federal departments vacated their offices in the building and moved to Philadelphia in 1790.

19th and 20th centuries

Fraunces Tavern, between the 1890 alteration and the 1900 restoration. Historic buildings of America as seen and described by famous writers; (1906) (14773061275).jpg
Fraunces Tavern, between the 1890 alteration and the 1900 restoration.

The building operated throughout much of the 19th century, but suffered several serious fires beginning in 1832. Having been rebuilt several times, the structure's appearance was changed to the extent that the original building design is not known. The building was owned by Malvina Keteltas in the early 1800s. Ernst Buermeyer and his family leased part of the property in 1845 and ran a hotel called the Broad Street House at this location until 1860. [14] After a disastrous fire in 1852, two stories were added, making the Tavern a total of five stories high. In 1890, the taproom was lowered to street level and the first floor exterior was remodeled, and its original timbers sold as souvenirs. The Manhattan local society of the National Society of the Children of the American Revolution is located at Fraunces Tavern. As of 2020, the Senior Society President is Ms. Elsye Richardson.

Restoration

Valentine's City of New York guide book (1920) by Henry Collins Brown, featured the tavern on the cover. Valentine's City of New York guide book.jpg
Valentine's City of New York guide book (1920) by Henry Collins Brown, featured the tavern on the cover.

In 1900, the tavern was slated for demolition by its owners, who reportedly wanted to use the land for a parking lot. A number of organizations, most notably the Daughters of the American Revolution, worked to preserve it, and convinced New York state government leaders to use their power of eminent domain and designate the building as a park (which was the only clause of the municipal ordinances that could be used for protection, as laws were not envisioned at the time for the subject of "historic preservation", then in its infancy). The temporary designation was later rescinded when the property was acquired in 1904 by the Sons of the Revolution In the State of New York Inc., primarily with funds willed by Frederick Samuel Tallmadge, the grandson of Benjamin Tallmadge, George Washington's chief of intelligence during the Revolution (a plaque depicting Tallmadge is affixed to the building). An extensive reconstruction was completed in 1907 under the supervision of early historic preservation architect, William Mersereau. [15] A guide book of the era called the tavern "the most famous building in New York". [16]

Historian Randall Gabrielan wrote in 2000 that "Mersereau claimed his remodeling of Fraunces Tavern was faithful to the original, but the design was controversial in his time. There was no argument over removing the upper stories, which were known to have been added during the building's 19th Century commercial use, but adding the hipped roof was questioned. He used the Philipse Manor House in Yonkers, New York as a style guide and claimed to follow the roof line of the original, as found during construction, traced on the bricks of an adjoining building." [17] Architects Norval White and Elliot Willensky wrote in 2000 that the building was "a highly conjectural reconstruction – not a restoration – based on 'typical' buildings of 'the period,' parts of remaining walls, and a lot of guesswork." [18] However, another source states that the "reconstruction was extremely speculative, and resulted in an almost entirely new construction". [19]

The building was declared a landmark in 1965 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the surrounding city block bounded by Pearl Street, Water Street, Broad Street and Coenties Slip was included on November 14, 1978. [2] The National Park Service added the surrounding city block to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on April 28, 1977, [1] and the building was added to the NRHP on March 6, 2008. [20]

Bombing

Fraunces Tavern bombing
Location Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DateJanuary 24, 1975
Attack type
bombing
Weapons bomb
Deaths4
Injured50+
Perpetrators FALN

A bomb planted in the tavern exploded on January 24, 1975, killing four people and injuring more than 50 others. The Puerto Rican clandestine paramilitary organization "Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña" (Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation, or FALN), which had executed other bomb incidents in New York in the 1970s, claimed responsibility. No one had been prosecuted for the bombing as of April 17, 2013. [21] [22]

Among the victims who died was a young banker, Frank Connor (33), who had worked his way up over 15 years from clerk to assistant vice president at Morgan Guaranty Trust. Connor left behind his wife and two sons. A second New York worker was Harold H. Sherburne (66), whose career on Wall Street spanned four decades. Two executives, James Gezork (32), of Wilmington, Delaware, and Alejandro Berger (28), who worked for a Philadelphia-based chemical company, had traveled to New York for business meetings. Sherburne, Connor, and Berger died at the scene; Gezork died later at the hospital.

In a note police found in a phone booth nearby, the FALN wrote, "we … take full responsibility for the especially detornated (sic) bomb that exploded today at Fraunces Tavern, with reactionary corporate executives inside." The note explained that the bomb — roughly 10 pounds of dynamite that had been crammed into an attaché case and slipped into the tavern's entrance hallway — was retaliation for the "CIA ordered bomb" that killed three and injured 11 in a restaurant in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, two weeks earlier.[ citation needed ]As of December 2012, a memorial plaque with some victims' names is hung in the Tavern's large dining room.

Recent uses

Fraunces Tavern Museum
Fraunces Tavern
EstablishedDecember 4, 1907 (1907-12-04)
Location54 Pearl Street, New York, NY
Visitors25,000
Owner Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, Inc.
Public transit access Bus: M15
Subway: NYCS-bull-trans-2-Std.svg NYCS-bull-trans-3-Std.svg at Wall Street, NYCS-bull-trans-1-Std.svg NYCS-bull-trans-N-Std.svg NYCS-bull-trans-R-Std.svg NYCS-bull-trans-W-Std.svg at South Ferry/Whitehall Street
Website frauncestavernmuseum.org

Since 1907, the Fraunces Tavern Museum on the second and third floors has helped to interpret the Fraunces Tavern and the collection of artifacts that it holds. The museum comprises nine galleries: The John Ward Dunsmore collection of painted scenes of the American revolution; the Elizabeth and Stanley DeForest Scott gallery of portraits of George Washington; the Long Room, the site of General George Washington's famous farewell dinner; the Clinton Room, a recreation of a federalist style dining room; the McEntee Gallery, depicting the history of the Sons of the Revolution; the Davis Education Center (Flag Gallery); and a number of other galleries and spaces used for periodic exhibitions. In 2014, for example, the museum exhibited 27 maps from the 1700 and 1800s, including a never before seen map from 1804 depicting the United States' postal routes. [23]

The building served as the location of the General Society, Sons of the Revolution (a heritage organization similar to and competing with the "Sons of the American Revolution") office until 2002, when the General Society moved to Independence, Missouri. The Fraunces Tavern Museum maintains several galleries of art and artifacts about the Revolution including the McEntee "Sons of the Revolution" Gallery that displays much of the history of the Society. [24] In 2011, the Fraunces Tavern Museum hosted a special naturalization ceremony for new citizens, including I. Saragusti.

See also

Related Research Articles

Financial District, Manhattan Neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City

The Financial District of Lower Manhattan, also known as FiDi, is a neighborhood located on the southern tip of Manhattan island in New York City. It is bounded by the West Side Highway on the west, Chambers Street and City Hall Park on the north, Brooklyn Bridge on the northeast, the East River to the southeast, and South Ferry and the Battery on the south.

Federal Hall United States historic place

Federal Hall is a historic building at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The name refers to two structures on the site: a Federal style building completed in 1703, and the current Greek Revival–style building completed in 1842. While only the first building was officially called "Federal Hall", the current structure is operated by the National Park Service as a national memorial called the Federal Hall National Memorial.

George Gustav Heye Center Museum in Manhattan, New York

The National Museum of the American Indian–New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, is a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan, New York City. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Center features contemporary and historical exhibits of art and artifacts by and about Native Americans.

Pearl Street (Manhattan) Street in Manhattan, New York

Pearl Street is a street in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, running northeast from Battery Park to the Brooklyn Bridge with an interruption at Fulton Street, where Pearl Street's alignment west of Fulton Street shifts one block south of its alignment east of Fulton Street, then turning west and terminating at Centre Street.

Evacuation Day (New York) Commemorates the evacuation of British forces from New York in 1783 and Washingtons triumphal return

Evacuation Day on November 25 marks the day in 1783 when the British Army departed from New York City on Manhattan Island, after the end of the American Revolutionary War. In their wake, General George Washington triumphantly led the Continental Army from his headquarters north of the city across the Harlem River, and south through Manhattan to the Battery at its southern tip.

Morris–Jumel Mansion United States historic place

The Morris–Jumel Mansion or Morris House is a Federal style museum home in northern Manhattan with mid-eighteenth century roots. It was built in 1765 by Roger Morris, a British military officer, and served as a headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution.

Samuel Fraunces

Samuel Fraunces was an American restaurateur and the owner/operator of Fraunces Tavern in New York City. During the Revolutionary War, he provided for prisoners held during the seven-year British occupation of New York City (1776-1783), and claimed to have been a spy for the American side. At the end of the war, it was at Fraunces Tavern that General George Washington said farewell to his officers. Fraunces later served as steward of Washington's presidential household in New York City (1789–1790) and Philadelphia (1791–1794).

Broad Street (Manhattan) Street in Manhattan, New York

Broad Street is a north–south street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Originally the Broad Canal in New Amsterdam, it stretches from today's South Street to Wall Street.

Gadsbys Tavern United States historic place

Gadsby's Tavern is a complex of historic buildings at the corner of N. Royal and Cameron Streets in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The complex includes a c. 1785 tavern, the 1792 City Tavern and Hotel, and 1878 hotel addition. The taverns were a central part of the social, economic, political, and educational life of the city of Alexandria, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963. Currently, the complex is home to Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant, American Legion Post 24, and Gadsby's Tavern Museum, a cultural history museum. The museum houses exhibits of early American life in Virginia, and the restaurant operates in the original 1792 City Tavern dining room, serving a mixture of period and modern foods.

Thomas Hickey was a Continental Army soldier in the American Revolutionary War, and the first person to be executed by the Continental Army for "mutiny, sedition, and treachery".

St. Pauls Chapel United States historic place

St. Paul's Chapel is a chapel building of Trinity Church, an episcopal parish, located at 209 Broadway, between Fulton Street and Vesey Street, in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1766, it is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan, and one of the nation's finest examples of Late Georgian church architecture.

DeWint House United States historic place

The DeWint House, in Tappan, New York, is one of the oldest surviving structures in Rockland County and is an outstanding example of Hudson Valley Dutch Colonial architecture. It was built using brick and indigenous stone in 1700 by Daniel DeClark, a Hollander, who emigrated to America in 1676 and bought the land from the native inhabitants in 1682. The date of construction is marked by glazed bricks incorporated into the façade.

Sons of the Revolution Hereditary society founded in 1876

Sons of the Revolution is a hereditary society which was founded in 1876 and educates the public about the American Revolution. The General Society Sons of the Revolution headquarters is a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation located at Williamsburg, Virginia. The Society is governed by a board of managers, an executive committee, officers, standing committees and their members, and staff. The General Society includes 28 State Societies and chapters in the United States, as well as Europe.

The 76 House United States historic place

The '76 House, also known as the Old '76 House, is a Colonial-era structure built as a home and tavern in Tappan, New York, in 1754 by Casparus Mabie, a merchant and tavern-keeper.

New York Landmarks Conservancy

Founded in 1973, The New York Landmarks Conservancy is one of the oldest and most respected preservation organizations in the country. They are the only one in New York that provides property owners with a wide range of financial and technical assistance needed to restore their homes, businesses, cultural, religious, and social institutions.

John Austin Stevens Jr. was a leader of business, an adviser of government and a student of the American Revolution. While he was born to a prominent banking family with political connections, it was his interest in U.S. history and his founding of Sons of the Revolution for which he is best known.

Knox Trophy

The Knox Trophy is the oldest military award of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The award was established on October 8, 1910 and is given annually by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York to the United States Military Academy cadet with the highest rating for military efficiency. Named in honor of General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War, the original trophy, made by Tiffany & Company was originally kept on display in the office of the West Point Commandant.

William Morales, also known as Willie Morales, Guillermo Morales, and William "No Hands" Morales, is a Puerto Rican member of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN). He was convicted in February 1979 for possession of explosives, and possession and transportation of explosives and a shotgun. He escaped from Bellevue Hospital in May 1979 and subsequently fled to Mexico, where he was held by the authorities, before emigrating to Cuba in 1988. Morales is currently on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list with a reward of $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.


John Street is a street in Lower Manhattan. It runs north to south through the Financial District. It is one of the oldest streets in the city. Long associated with maritime activity, the street ran along Burling Slip. The slip was filled in around 1840, and the street widened. Besides a wharf, warehouse, and chandlery, the city's first permanent theatre, and the first Methodist congregation in North America were located on John Street. It was also the site of a well-known pre-Revolutionary clash between the Sons of Liberty and British soldiers, pre-dating the Boston Massacre by six weeks.

References

  1. 1 2 "Fraunces Tavern Block". NPS.gov. Washington: National Register of Historic Places. April 28, 1977. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District" (PDF). NYC.gov. New York: New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. August 1, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  3. "Fraunces Tavern". NPS.gov. Washington: National Register of Historic Places. March 6, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  4. "Founders of Sons Saved Fraunces Tavern". SonsOfTheRevolution.org. New York: Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  5. "The Happy Hour Guys at Fraunces Tavern". YouTube.com. San Bruno, Calif.: YouTube LLC. February 7, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  6. "Fraunces Tavern: Hangout of Sons Of Liberty; Hosted Washington, Several Cabinet Departments". NYFreedom.com. New York: Eric Kramer and Carol Sletten. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  7. "Old buildings of New York City: With some notes regarding their origin and occupants". New York: Brentano's. 1907. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  8. Diana (May 2, 2012). "A Walk Through History, Fraunces Tavern, New York". The Winged Sandals. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  9. Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Fraunces' Tavern"  . Encyclopedia Americana .
  10. "Rough Crossing: The Slaves, the British, and the American Revolution". London: BBC Books. August 9, 2005. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
  11. "Why Washington Wept". The New York Sun. New York: TWO SL LLC. December 4, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  12. "Sneek Peek at 2008". Fraunces Tavern Museum. New York: Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc. Archived from the original on September 8, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  13. "Liberty's Kids, episode 38 "The Man Who Wouldn't Be King"". YouTube.com. San Bruno, Calif.: YouTube LLC. December 26, 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
  14. http://www3.telus.net/modfos/Bios/Fraunces%20Tavern.htm
  15. "Fraunces Tavern". NYC-Architecture.com. New York: Tom Fletcher. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  16. Henry Collins Brown (1920). Valentine's City of New York. LCCN   20005206. OL   14047198M.
  17. "New York City's Financial District in Vintage Postcards". Mount Pleasant, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing. May 23, 2000. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
  18. "AIA Guide to New York City, Fourth Ed". New York: Random House Inc. June 27, 2000. Retrieved October 21, 2009.
  19. "THE OLDEST BUILDINGS IN MANHATTAN, NYC". Untapped Cities. February 11, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  20. "Fraunces Tavern". NPS.gov. Washington: National Register of Historic Places. March 6, 2008.
  21. Mara Bovsun (January 21, 2012). "Justice Story: FALN bomb kills 4 at Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington said farewell to troops". NY Daily News. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  22. Edward D. Reuss. "Terrorism in New York". nycop.com. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  23. http://frauncestavernmuseum.org/exhibits-and-collections/
  24. "Fraunces Tavern". YouTube.com. San Bruno, Calif.: YouTube LLC. November 2, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
Listen to this article (11 minutes)
noicon
Sound-icon.svg
This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 22 October 2018 (2018-10-22), and does not reflect subsequent edits.