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by two cruisers
November 28, 2007
From journal Beyond Colonial Williamsburg
Los Gatos, California
July 16, 2005
The oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States, the Sir Christopher Wren Building, was originally constructed between 1695 and 1699, before Williamsburg was founded, when the capital of the colony of Virginia was still located at Jamestown. At that time, the tract of land between the James and York rivers which was to become Williamsburg was populated by crude timber buildings and known as "Middle Plantation." Tradition has it that the building was designed by the famed English architect Sir Christopher Wren, who designed St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
In 1699, the colonial capital was moved from Jamestown to the newly formed city of Williamsburg, and the Wren Building, then the largest structure in the area, became the temporary headquarters of the government from 1700 until 1704, when the Capitol was completed.
From the east entrance to the Wren Building, you can see the other buildings of the College's colonial campus, including the Brafferton and the President's House. The Brafferton, located on the south side of the yard, was constructed in 1723 to house the College's Indian school, which was endowed by funds from the estate of Robert Boyle, the noted English scientist. Income from Brafferton Manor in Yorkshire, England, designated for charitable and pious purposes, was used to educate and prepare Native American boys for the Anglican priesthood. This undertaking met with little success, and at the time of the American Revolution, income from the Boyle estate was discontinued, and the Indian school was abandoned. Today, the Brafferton houses the offices of the president and provost of the College.
The President's House, on the north side of the yard, was erected in 1732 and has been used by every president of William and Mary. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Brafferton, President's House, and Wren Building were restored to their 18th-century appearance through the generosity of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the same man responsible for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. The Brafferton and the President's House are not open to the public.
From journal Early American Time Travel
November 22, 2000
From journal Birth of Our Nation