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"Fires, history, fake Capitol?" Top 5 Page for this destination Williamsburg Things to Do Tip by matcrazy1

Williamsburg Things to Do: 366 reviews and 607 photos

by matcrazy1

In fact, the Capitol Building, which currently dominates the eastern part of Colonial Williamsburg is... the third building put up at this place in 1934. Well, the fact that it's not original building didn't change my opinion that the place is unique, of great historical value and simply the highlight of Williamsburg, Virginia and even the USA.

The current Capitol is a very detailed and accurate reconstruction of the Capitol as it was completed in 1705. The latter was replaced after a fire in 1747 by another building, which was in turn burned down in 1832. Fires, not wars, caused serious damages in Virginia's communities in 17th and 18th century. They even changed history. The burgesses decided to move the colony's government to Middle Plantation, soon renamed Williamsburg just after fire destroyed (for the third time) the Jamestown Statehouse in 1698.

The Capitol is put on a H-shape plan with two apsidal-ended wings. The entrance is through a central linking block. This part takes the form of an open arcaded loggia on the ground floor. One floor up there is a conference room for joint meetings between the Governor's Council and members of the House of Burgesses.

The building is built of red bricks and basically Georgian in character although its proportions are a little bit different: English Georgian state buildings are considerably less compact, higher on smaller basis. It's probably hot Virginian summers inspired the designer both to change classical Georgian style proportions, to put limited number of relatively small windows and to put open entrance loggia which permited the free circulation of air.

Address: Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, VA 23187
Directions: At the eastern end of the main avenue (Duke of Gloucester Street), approx. 0.8 mi east of the Bruton Church. From the Visitors Center take a blue line shuttle bus and take off on the second bus stop.
othercontact: +1 (800) 761-8331
Phone: +1 (757) 229-1000

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Dec 27, 2004
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