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The Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York’s Fraunces Tavern is an essential part of Lower Manhattan’s culture and American history. Museum attendance has increased in 25% within the last five years, offering a variety of monthly programming and changing exhibitions to over 25,000 annual visitors and the Restaurant is bustling with tourist and locals.
However, the scene at the Tavern was extremely different in October of 2012 after Hurricane Sandy, with winds reaching over 800 miles per hour, swept through the east coast and damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses including Fraunces Tavern.
The destruction caused by the flood waters of Sandy to the historic Landmarked Tavern was staggering. Brackish and sewage water rose eleven feet above street level destroying all of the Taverns utilities systems in the basement.
For forty days, Fraunces Tavern was without electricity, heat, and communications. Led by Executive Director, Jessica B. Phillips, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York began around-the-clock efforts to restore the utilities to quickly reopen the doors to the public.
Many of the repaired damages and flood clean-up have been lasting – communications, elevator service, boiler and gas line systems, asbestos abatement, and mold treatment.
However, the building’s electrical system still needs major restoration. According to SW Engineering’s report, the Tavern’s electrical equipment may operate without any problems in the short term but its exposure to “floodwater will corrode at an accelerated rate” ultimately increasing the likelihood of future fires and/or service failures.
The Society must replace all flooded electrical components (wiring, conduits, fixtures, overcurrent devices and switchgear) in order to prevent future fires due to corrosion. This massive and necessary project will cost $614,500.
It would be devastating if a fire were to occur in the five wood framed historic buildings that make up the Fraunces Tavern complex. The safety of the visitors, staff, and history are a top priority for the Society. Honorary Past President and major Museum supporter, Stanley D. Scott understands the urgency of this project. Along with his wife, Elizabeth, the Scotts have generously promised to match up to $50,000 of contributions made to the Post-Hurricane Sandy Electrical Replacement Project.
This coming October will mark the three year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Will you join us in keeping Fraunces Tavern safe and accessible?
Fraunces Tavern Museum is proud to announce the exhibition opening of Lafayette. This exhibition will open on May 22, 2015 and end in December 2016. The exhibition, Lafayette, will complement the docking of the Marquis de Lafayette’s replica ship, L’Hermione at South Street Seaport occurring on July 4th weekend.
Executive Director and Curator, Jessica B. Phillips, shares, “I’m always excited to put rare objects on display, like Lafayette’s calling card and the general’s sash which the Marquis bled on at the Battle of Brandywine.”
Twenty Lafayette related historic objects, several which have never been exhibited, will be available for view in the Museum’s Loeb Gallery. Accompanying Lafayette’s calling card and the general’s sash, is also a pair of officer’s pistols gifted by Lafayette to fellow Continental, David Miller. All artifacts are from the Museum’s collection.