Colonial Williamsburg Plans Reconstruction of Historic Coffeehouse

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Va., has announced plans to rebuild Richard Charlton's Coffeehouse, which in 1765 was a bustling social and political center for Revolutionary War-era activity. If the city approves its plan, the foundation will reconstruct the coffeehouse on its original foundations in Williamsburg's famed Historic Area, where it will serve as a new event venue for local programming.

"Reconstructing Charlton's Coffeehouse—the foundation's first complete reconstruction in 50 years—will constitute a major architectural and educational contribution to the Historic Area," Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Colin G. Campbell said in a statement. "We anticipate that the project will be of great interest to guests, scholars, artisans and other observers."

Williamsburg wigmaker Richard Charlton converted the building into a coffeehouse in the mid-18th century, at which time it had one and a half stories, including three first floor rooms and a cellar that was used for food preparation. When the coffeehouse is rebuilt, it will include all the building's original features and all the same building materials.

Made possible by a $5 million gift from donors, the recreated coffeehouse will be the only one of its kind in the United States.