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College of William & Mary

President's House

Period: 1732 - 1733

The President's House at the College of William and Mary was constructed between 1732 - 1733 by builder Henry Cary Jr.  The building has continuously served as home to the college's presidents, with the exception of a brief period during the American Revolution when it was taken over by General Cornwallis, and during the tenure of one president who chose to reside in his own home.  The brick structure is built with a Flemish bond, comprising three stories and five bays.  The design is strikingly similar to the Brafferton located across the yard, however, the President's House is slightly larger.

Throughout its rich history, the President's House has sustained a fair amount of damage, including four fires, and has undergone numerous renovations.  While the exterior has survived mostly intact, the interior has been remodeled several times, leaving very little original material.  In 1931, the exterior was restored to its colonial appearance as part of the Rockefeller Restoration of Williamsburg.

In 2005, MCWB was engaged to take part in a renewal project to update and improve the residence.  The project was completed in 2006 and included work on both the interior and exterior of the building.  The heating, air conditioning and electrical systems were all upgraded.  A new staff bathroom and offices were added to the basement.  The existing kitchen and bathrooms were renovated.  A new brick paver walkway was added and the exterior masonry was repointed.  Improvements were also made to the original kitchen building, now serving as the guest house, and the garage.

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