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Evolution of the Site & Buildings.  

Officially known today as Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the tavern consists of two adjoining buildings constructed by John Wise. The first (left) he built beginning in the spring of 1785, as verified by recent dendrochronology. This Georgian Colonial-style building is similar in style to 13 other extant buildings in Alexandria, typified by a stone belt course between the first and second floors, winged keystones with a vermiculation over the windows, a pronounced water table, and a beautiful door with fluted pilasters and a broken pediment.
   In 1792, Wise undertook the construction of a second and much larger tavern building, known originally as the City Tavern, later as the City Hotel. This building was a skyscraper on the Alexandria skyline and featured two large public dining rooms, three private dining rooms, an elegant ballroom, 14 sleeping rooms, and an adjacent ice well. This photograph is from a 1936 Federal survey that documented the structure (before the 1792 building's original doorwary was restored).
(HABS / Library of Congress photo.)