Ornamental Separator

To Build a Town: The Architecture of Williamsburg

Opening in 2021
Will be on view in the James Boswell and Christopher Caracci Gallery
This exhibition is generously funded by Thomas L. and Nancy S. Baker.


Since the 1930’s, Colonial Williamsburg has been building its architectural collection. Now comprised of over 15,000 “architectural fragments”, it is an important and irreplaceable source of information on colonial American structures. The collection comes from existing structures and buildings lost to time. It includes everything from nails, bricks, framing and doors to wallpaper, plaster and paint samples. These “fragments” play an important role in our understanding of 18th-century building materials and construction, and guide our everyday preservation of Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area. Highlights include the contents of a rat’s nest found during restoration of Wetherburn’s Tavern, the original weathervane from the Magazine and a split-screen video showing the town as it appeared in 1930 and in 2014.