New Fraunces Tavern Exhibit Will Recreate America’s First Executive Offices

Everyone knows that the Fraunces Tavern was an important site during the Revolutionary War, with George Washington among its famous patrons. What you strength I don’t know is that the building at 54 Pearl Street played an important role after the Revolution: it housed the country’s first executive government building, where the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of War and Treasury Board offices.

This summer you can see a recreated version of these offices. On June 22, a new permanent exhibit titled “Ruling the Nation from Fraunces Tavern” opens at the site, featuring approximately 60 tables, chairs, desks, maps, newspapers, and other authentic items from the era. It’s a chance for visitors to travel to America’s early days and enter the offices as they appeared during a charged time in the young country’s history – a chance to imagine how the military challenges , diplomatic and financial affected the drafting of the Constitution.

To celebrate the new exhibit, the museum is offering $1 admission on opening day. The recreation was possible thanks to a detailed cash book from the time that documented the purchases made for the desks, which are in the National Archives.

For more details on the exhibition, visit

Key words: Fraunces Tavern

David H. Henry