The oldest surviving structure in Manhattan is Fraunces Tavern, a building downtown on Pearl Street. It was the site of George Washington’s farewell address to his troops and is today maintained as a restaurant and museum. In a neighborhood where not much has stood the test of time, it’s one of the city’s only surviving remnants of the colonial era.
When Hurricane Sandy swept through lower Manhattan in the days before Halloween, the historic structure wasn’t spared. Floodwaters filled the basements, destroying the utility system’s mechanics. The flood wall was high enough to cause 2 feet of flood destruction to the above-ground first floors, damaging wooden interiors, filling bar coolers and causing furniture to float.
The recovery effort has been nothing short of monumental. The museum’s precious artifacts weren’t damaged, but it took more than a month to get the building’s infrastructure back to working order.
There’s still a lot more work to be done, though, and the bill so far has been footed by the building’s longtime owner, New York’s Sons of the Revolution. It’s estimated that the final total for all repairs will come to $300,000, far beyond the organization’s budget. That’s why they’re asking for your help. They’re accepting donations through their website, and every dollar helps.