Mission and History


The mission of the City Tavern Preservation Foundation is to preserve and steward the City Tavern, the last remaining Federal tavern in Washington, DC, through education and promotion of its history and significance to the public. In recognition of the importance of this remarkable building and the events that have occurred within its walls, the Foundation is committed to the preservation of the City Tavern (c. 1796) and its contributions to the Georgetown community and Washington, DC at large.

Independent of the City Tavern Club, the Foundation endeavors to raise funds to provide for repairs and continued restoration and preservation of this incredible Washington landmark. The Foundation features exciting educational opportunities, including lectures, guided tours, and cultural events. Our events highlight the City Tavern’s history, its famous patrons and guests over the years, its historical relationship with slavery, and its 18th century architecture and interiors, among numerous other subjects.

We are also committed to developing meaningful relationships with local historic preservation and civic organizations to work in together to promote Georgetown’s unique architectural, historic, and social heritage.

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift in support of the City Tavern Preservation Foundation today. Your gift is vital in safeguarding one of the oldest and most storied Federal-era buildings in our nation’s capital.

Preservation Work


Constructed in 1796 at the center of Georgetown, the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, above the Potomac River waterfront, the City Tavern has been many things from a place to congregate for food and drink, a place where the business of Georgetown was conducted, where the Georgetown Corporation and the Mayors Court sat, a transportation hub as well as retail space and a club. The aim of stewardship of this historic landmark is to preserve the past and ensure its future sustainability.

With the initial restoration 1959-1962, the architectural firm of Macomber and Peter was retained with Walter Peter in charge of the work. The building was restored to its original appearance with mid-19th century fabric altered or removed. Surviving ornament was replicated; original mantels that had been removed were returned. The first floor of the building, which had not been exposed until the 1870s was detailed in the architectural style and materials of the original façade above. Because of this careful restoration, the City Tavern continues to convey an association with the history of Georgetown and still serves as an excellent example of this important period.

60 years after the building was saved from destruction, the City Tavern Preservation Foundation is undertaking development of a preservation plan and development of a strategy to see it flourish into the future. The resulting preservation plan will be a guide detailing the challenges posed by threats to the physical integrity of the Historic building and solutions essential for its preservation.


Preserve an architectural treasure.

Enhance the visitor experience.

Increase the historical knowledge base.