THE REMODELED FRAUNCE’S TAVERN.
When the old Fraunce’s Tavern at Broad and Pearl streets, Manhattan, New York, has been restored at the expense of the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, it will be more or less a fac-simile of what it was in the days when Washington bade farewell to his officers in the long room facing Broad street at the close of the Revolution. It was built more than 200 years ago—about 1700—on land conveyed by Colonel Stephanus Van Cortlandt, one of the original Dutch Knickerbockers, to his son, Etienne De Lancey. The house, the bricks for which were brought from Holland, was used as a residence by Joseph Robinson, and, later, De Lacey, Robinson. & Co. utilised it as a storehouse. Col. Robinson again used it as a residence, and on January 15. 1769. disposed of it for sale to Sam Fraunce, who opened it as the Queen’s Head tavern, under the sign of Queen Charlotte. It soon became a popular resort, and the commercial men and the society people of the city used its long room as a place of assembly for business and for social gatherings. The building was three stories high; it had a tile and lead roof, fourteen fireplaces, a fine large kitchen, offices, etc. That it was a typically solid Dutch structure is shown from the fact that its sturdy brick walls and stout oaken beams withstood, first, a fire in 1834, and another, more serious, in 1854, after both of which, however, extensive alterations were made. But neither the carpenters and builders nor the fire changed the famous old “long room.” The original floor beams of oak, hand-hewn, still remain. as do also the tier beams in the ceiling, although the fire of 1854 burned much of the woodwork in the room. The wall on the Pearl street side fell outwards in the last fire on a line just over the second stop’ windows, the original wall in Broad street remaining intact. The restoration will include the rebuilding of the Pearl street wall with bricks of the same hue and make, specially imported from Holland, also of the oaken trim, so as to conform to what still remains in the “long room,” the tearing down of the two stories added at different times, the remodeling of the old taproom, whose old oak beams for the floor were sawn off by the walls and replaced by beams of iron. The original three chimneys will tie rebuilt (they were removed fifteen years ago), and the whole will be crowned, as of old, with a hipped roof of tile and lead. The cost of the restoration—about $64,000 —will lie horne by the Sons of the Revolution, and the city will give land round it to form a small park.