Christopher Wren Building
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in 1695 and originally known as The College, the Wren
Building of the College of William and Mary is the oldest academic
building in continuous use for instruction in the United States.
It was renamed in this century for Sir Christopher Wren, to whom
a contemporary author attributed the buildings design.
building burned in 1705 and, before 1716, was partially redesigned
and rebuilt under the direction of Governor Alexander Spotswood.
The chapel wing as added in 1732. Interred within are the remains
of James Madison and other honored dead.
the Yorktown campaign the building was used as a hospital for
sick and wounded of the French and American Armies. In the War
of 1812 it served as barracks for the militia. It was burned again
in 1859, rebuilt on the old walls and used until May 1861. Occupied
by Confederate forces and later by the Union army during the Civil
War, it was burned in 1862. Due to the exhaustion of college revenues
by the war, rebuilding was delayed until 1868. Classes resumed
1906 the College of William and Mary became a state institution.
The Wren Building was included in the restoration of Colonial
Williamsburg. Restoration of the building took place from 19281931.
© 1995 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1995 Bill Harrah