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Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg consists of most of the buildings that comprised the original colonial capital of Wlliamsburg, some of which have been reconstructed on their original sites. Many other structures have been restored to their original 18th century appearances. Colonial Williamsburg is owned and operated (as an open-air museum) by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and is not directly affiliated with the nearby Colonial National Historical Park.

For many years after the colonial era, the colonial section of Williamsburg was neglected as the modern town was built around it. Fearing that the buildings in the area would be destroyed as time went on, W. A. R. Goodwin, pastor of the Bruton Parish Church, started a movement to preserve the buildings in the district, and signed on John D. Rockefeller as his primary source of funding. Restoration started on November 27, 1926 and since then, Colonial Williamsburg has been nearly completely restored, and features shops, taverns and open-air markets in the colonial style. The Governor's Palace and the Capitol building are among the significant reconstructed buildings within the restored area. The western side of the district, near the College of William and Mary, has been designated for modern shops under the name "Merchant's Square".

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