This structure at 54 Pearl Street in New York City’s Financial District, is Manhattan’s oldest surviving building. It was originally built in 1719, as a home for Stephen Delancey, a Huguenot refugee and merchant. In 1762, the building came into the possession of Samuel Fraunces who opened it as a tavern. It remains so today, serving lunch and dinner. It now also houses the Fraunces Tavern Museum.
During the American Revolution, the building had become famous, not for its good food and drink, but for its rebellious politics. The Sons of Liberty held meetings here before the British occupation. Festivities were held at the tavern for Evacuation Day on November 25, 1783.
One week later, in December of 1783, George Washington made his farewell to the officers of the Continental Army in this tavern. It was an emotional speech which publicly insured that the new United States of America would not become a military dictatorship. From thence, the general retired to his farm in Virginia. Six years later, in 1789, George Washington returned to New York City, the capitol of the United States, to be sworn in as the first president.
The image, Fraunces Tavern-NYC, was originally uploaded at Flickr by Iseult who owns its copyright and can be contacted at the previous link. The image is posted here with that owner’s permission by barneykin, administrator of “The Revolution ed” pool.(110)