9. Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern, a remnant of colonial NYC

Fraunces Tavern holds the top spot on the list of Manhattan’s oldest buildings. The tavern was also one of the first buildings to be designated a New York City Landmark in 1965, though much of the original colonial structure is non-existent. There has been a structure located at the site since 1719 when it was originally built as a private residence for Etienne DeLancey. In 1761 Samuel Fraunces, from whom the building takes its name, bought the building and opened the Queens Head Tavern.

The tavern played a significant role in the American Revolution, serving as a meeting place for revolutionary groups like the Sons of Liberty and as a residence for George Washington during the final days of the war. However, after a restoration in 1906, much of the original structure was lost or obscured and there was a lot of guesswork in recreating the original structure. There are however some pieces of the original structure that survive. On the west wall of the tavern, there is 18th-century Holland Brick and inside there are original oak-hewn beams in the floors and ceilings of some of the upper rooms, including the famous Long Room.