Manhattan's Oldest Surviving Structure Hit Hard by Superstorm Sandy - Herculean Efforts at Fraunces Tavern & Four Related Buildings -

December 06, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
December 6, 2012 - Manhattan's oldest surviving structure has survived yet again-but with heavy damage that has knocked the wind out of its not-for-profit ownership. Dating to 1719, Fraunces Tavern, on lower Manhattan's Pearl Street, the site of George Washington's famous farewell to his officers in 1783, as well as numerous other historic episodes, was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. The waters filled its basement and rose up to three feet within its first floor.

The famous Restaurant, now also known as The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern®, located on the ground floor, recently reopened, after making extensive post-storm repairs, and is planning a celebration with its customers on the evening of December 6. The Museum and its collections, housed in the upper floors of the Tavern and adjacent buildings, escaped the floodwaters but could not operate due to loss of telephone, Internet, heat and other building services. It hopes to soon announce its reopening and return to serving the many school children and tourists who visit each year to absorb the stories of early American history that abound within its rooms.

The non-profit historical society, The Sons of The Revolution In The State of New York, which saved Fraunces Tavern from destruction in 1904, purchased and restored it by 1907, and subsequently acquired four other contiguous structures, all smack in the middle of Superstorm Sandy's downtown destruction, is trying to find the means and resources for a way back. Work has been ongoing, around the clock, to return the structures to their pre-storm conditions. Electricity has been restored. Gas line and plumbing repairs are also being made incrementally. Telephone and Internet repairs are in progress.

"Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors who were also hit by the storm," said Anthony Wellman, spokesman for the Sons of the Revolution, adding, "Herculean efforts have been made at Fraunces Tavern 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week since the storm to return buildings and operations to normal, but the expenses of recovering from Superstorm Sandy will be very significant, indeed."

- About Fraunces Tavern -

Fraunces Tavern was built in 1719 as an elegant residence and purchased in 1762 by tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces. The tavern played a significant role in pre-Revolutionary War activities and later housed early U.S. government offices of the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs (today's State Department). It is best known as the site where General George Washington bade farewell to the officers of the Continental Army on December 4th, 1783.

In 1904, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York purchased the tavern, saving it from the wrecking ball. A restored Fraunces Tavern was opened to the public in 1907 featuring a Museum and Restaurant. In 2008 Fraunces Tavern was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fraunces Tavern® is a registered service mark of Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, instituted in 1876 and incorporated in 1884.