Thanks to a matching grant from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust and the support of generous donors, Fraunces Tavern Museum’s historic Long Room has been made more accessible to the public in an immersive new way.

 
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The Long Room is the site where George Washington bid an emotional farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783 following the end of the American Revolution. For over a hundred years since the Museum’s opening 1907, the Long Room has served as a portal to the past for thousands of New York City School children and tourists, and is the stage for our annual Washington’s Farewell reenactment, which draws sold-out crowds.

In December 2018, the Museum received a matching grant from the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust to upgrade the famous Long Room for generations to come.

For the last several months, the Long Room Enhancement Project has involved the combined efforts of many Museum staff members working to design and install a new reader rail that could engage the public in innovative ways. The design of the rail itself was inspired by the pre-existing environment of the period room, styled to blend in with the architecture and design of the existing room. The rail has also been constructed to allow a greater number of visitors to comfortably access the room at one time, a feature that not only makes the room more accessible, but also permits visitors to move deeper into the space for a closer look at the artifacts on display. Updated labels not only recount the tavern’s extraordinary history, but also invite them to think critically about how history has shaped the nation we live in today. Rounding out the new additions to the space are interactive components that bring to life the sounds and smells of an 18th century tavern and of the room itself. Spice jars mounted on the rail allow visitors to smell spices such as nutmeg and cardamom, commonly used in 18th century cooking and baking, and visitors can even “hear George Washington” bid his officers farewell by pressing a button and listening to a voice recording of an excerpt of the farewell through a speaker.

As the only museum in New York City dedicated to the American Revolution, Fraunces Tavern Museum can now offer visitors new meaning to the experience of standing in a room where George Washington once stood in Manhattan’s oldest standing structure.

 

~ Thank You ~

In 2019, we are celebrating 300 years since the construction of Fraunces Tavern. Thanks to the support of generous donors, we are proud to be able include the completion of this project in this milestone anniversary year. Thank you to all of our donors who helped us to raise the funds necessary to make this transformation possible and bring the Long Room to life:

 
 

$1,000 or More
Peter C. Hein
Matthew C. Norgard

$500 or More
Robb A. Allan
Kent D. Worley

 
 

$250 or More
F. Daniel Le Vert Coleman
David W. Norgard
Gary Dubois
James Watson Gerard V
Michael Stauffer
Robert Perkins

 
 

$100 or More
James R. Grayshaw
Wesley M. Oler IV
David Benjamin Rich III
Jonathan Jensen
Stephen Madsen
John Turnbull
Kurt Colicchio
T. Denny Hoag
Chris Matteson
Daniel Cordero

Other Donors
Warren Diefendorf III
Warren Diefendorf IV
Fletcher Hodges
Donald Provost
William Pierrepont Bartow
Justin Brian Tessier
Kathleen Dolan
Mark S. Russo
Ann M. Kilbourne

Washington’s farewell to his officers who survived the War was an emotionally charged address. In attendance was Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, who described the event many years later in his memoir, “With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” The memoir is currently on view in the McEntee Gallery.

Washington’s farewell to his officers  Thomas Phillibrowne, after Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887)

Washington’s farewell to his officers
Thomas Phillibrowne, after Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887)

a school group visits The Long room in the 1980s

a school group visits The Long room in the 1980s