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July 8, 2009

Colonial Capitol building and Governor's Palace celebrate 75th anniversaries

Two of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area exhibition sites – the Capitol Building and the Governor’s Palace – celebrate their 75th anniversaries with summer tours. Both iconic buildings played important roles in creating the foundations for an independent nation. At the Capitol, Patrick Henry delivered his Caesar-Brutus speech against the Stamp Act in 1765. The Governor’s Palace served as the residence for two Virginia Commonwealth governors – Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

By the early 19th century both buildings had been destroyed. In the 20th century, the Rev. W.A.R. Goodwin wanted to restore the 18th-century capital of Virginia to its original glory. The Capitol and the Governor’s Palace were eventually reconstructed and opened as exhibition buildings in 1934.

Special focus tours of the Capitol and Governor’s Palace tell the story of how the two sites have evolved. Guests can:

  • Examine the beginnings of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the people who were instrumental in bringing the Historic Area into being, the creation of public awareness of America’s architectural treasures and the development of preservation techniques;
  • Learn about the era in which the Capitol Building and the Governor’s Palace were reconstructed; and
  • Understand the techniques used to research, reconstruct and furnish these two buildings by examining photos, documents and the buildings.

    Beginning July 20 and continuing through August 27 tours of the Capitol are offered every Monday from 9-10 a.m. Tours of the Governor’s Palace will be available every Thursday from 9-10 a.m. A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to enjoy these programs. For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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