Saturday, May 21, 2022

Where We Live: The President’s House

Where We Live: A weekly look at homes in the Historic Triangle

The exterior of the President's House, located on the northeast side of Wren Yard. (John Walls/WYDaily)
« of 10 »

On the northeast side of Wren Yard on the campus of William & Mary, stands the oldest official home for a college president in the United States. The President’s House, completed in 1733, has been the official residence for all but one of William & Mary’s presidents.

This three-story, brick, Georgian home has had numerous renovations over the years, with the most notable being part of the Rockefeller Restoration of Williamsburg in 1931, when it was restored to its original, 18th-century appearance.

Furnished and decorated with antique furniture (private endowment provides furnishing funds), and Colonial American portraits from the Muscarelle Museum of Art, this house has had many notable visitors over the years. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Tyler have all visited the home, as well as every president from Woodrow Wilson to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

According to Susan Kern, executive director of the historical campus at William & Mary, Charles Cornwallis stayed in the house briefly before the Battle of Yorktown and the French mistakenly set fire to the home a few weeks later while it was being used as a hospital for French soldiers.

With its rich history and elegant décor, the President’s House holds a special place on campus and within the City.

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at homes in the Historic Triangle. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at 

Related Articles