Ballroom Garden, Governor’s Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia
In 1724, the Reverend Hugh Jones wrote of the Governor’s Palace <<a magnificent Structure, built at the public Expense, finished and beautified with Gates, fine Gardens, Offices, Walks, a fine Canal, Orchards &c.>> The Palace, its dependencies, and gardens have been reconstructed to their original appearance
Publisher: Colonial Williamsburg, Indianopolis “Made in Switzerland by Atelier Graphique H. Vontobel, Feldmeilen. Imported exclusively by Runca Import Company, Rutherfordton N.C.. USA”
An official Colonial Williamsburg postcard illustrated with a view looking down from the Governor’s Palace cupola on the formal garden behind the Ballroom Wing. The card offers a view of the formal gardens behind the Governor’s Palace, flanking one side of the Ballroom Wing. These gardens, designed by Arthur Shurcliff, include boxwood parterres and one dozen large cylindrical shrubs known as the Twelve Apostles, a feature often appearing in eighteenth-century English gardens. Near the top of the photo, a pleached hornbeam arbor is visible to the left. Just beyond the arbor is a small structure built into the garden wall that served as a privy (necessary).
John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Willamsburg Foundation
The Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, was the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia. It was also a home for two of Virginia’s post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, until the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780, and with it the Governor’s residence. The main house burned down in 1781, though the outbuildings survived for some time after. . . . Through the efforts of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Churc h and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr., whose family provided major funding, the elaborate and ornate palace was carefully recreated in the early 20th century.The reconstruction was based on numerous surviving pieces of evidence. Archaeological excavations of the site revealed the original foundations and cellar, together with architectural remnants that had fallen in during the fire. Jefferson’s drawings and plans from his proposed renovation have survived, conveying the interior plan. In 1929, while the project was already in planning, a copperplate engraving nicknamed the Bodleian Plate was discovered in England’s Bodleian Library. The plate included renderings c. 1740 of the exterior of the palace, along with the Capitol and the Wren Building. Additional evidence included original artifacts and Virginia General Assembly records. The house, outbuildings, and gardens opened as an exhibition on April 23, 1934.