In November of last year, the City Tavern Preservation Foundation joined forces with the Washington National Cathedral to offer a unique behind-the-scenes preview, tour, and demonstration of the Great Organ.
Cathedral Organ Scholar Rebecca Ehrens plays a pivotal role in this musical preservation endeavor. She not only explained and demonstrated the full capacity of the organ but also provided a unique recital showcasing the progressively limited capacity as the project unfolds.
Following the recital, attendees had the extraordinary opportunity to literally walk “into” the instrument on the Cathedral’s triforium level, where the majority of the pipes are situated.
Now, as we step into the new year, the much-anticipated project is well underway.
The ambitious first phase of the Great Organ’s deconstruction, involving the systematic removal and reconfiguration of its almost 11,000 pipes, is progressing according to schedule. The projected date for this intricate process began in January 2024, and we’re thrilled to report that it is set to be completed before Easter Sunday, on March 31.
Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to follow this extraordinary journey of musical preservation in action!
On this day in History.
On January 8, 2024, we reflect on a pivotal moment in American history on January 8, 1790. On this date, President George Washington delivered the first “Annual Message to a Joint Session of Congress,” a tradition that has evolved into what we now know as the State of the Union address. The setting was the Senate chamber of Federal Hall in New York City, marking a significant milestone in the young nation’s journey.
Inaugural State of the Union Address.
President George Washington, the nation’s first president, played a crucial role in shaping the traditions and protocols of the United States government. With the newly adopted U.S. Constitution, Washington presented the inaugural State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Federal Hall: The Historic Venue.
The choice of venue added a layer of significance to the occasion. Federal Hall, located on Wall Street in New York City, served as the first capital of the United States. The First Congress convened, and the Bill of Rights was introduced here. The Senate chamber in Federal Hall witnessed the birth of many foundational moments in American governance.
Reflecting on the Address.
President Washington’s Address covered various topics, including the country’s economic situation, foreign relations, and the need for national unity. The Address set a precedent for future presidents to communicate directly with Congress and the American people, fostering transparency and accountability.
Evolution of the State of the Union.
Over the years, the State of the Union address has evolved into a highly anticipated annual event. It serves as a platform for the current President to outline their legislative agenda, highlight achievements, and address the nation’s challenges. Members of both houses of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and other dignitaries attend the event.
Legacy of Washington’s Address.
President Washington’s decision to address Congress laid the foundation for a practice that endures to this day. The State of the Union address remains crucial in the political calendar, providing a snapshot of the nation’s priorities and challenges. It is a testament to the enduring principles of democracy and the ongoing commitment to open and transparent governance.
As we commemorate the anniversary of President George Washington’s first State of the Union address, we are reminded of the resilience and foresight of the nation’s founders. The traditions established on that day in 1790 continue to shape how the United States government engages with its citizens. The State of the Union address symbolizes the democratic principles that have guided the nation for over two centuries.
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The Board and staff of City Tavern Preservation Foundation would like to thank you for your support in 2023.
Whether you attended a tour, one of our many fascinating and free events throughout 2023, our elegant black-tie fundraiser in December or simply made a donation, you made our work at the Foundation possible. 2024 is shaping up to be even better, with a full list of lectures, tours, workshops, and excursions within the Washington area and beyond.
Please consider a fully tax-deductible year-end donation to support our mission of education, and the stewarding and preserving of the precious 227 year-old City Tavern building, the oldest operating tavern in Washington, DC, making it accessible to lovers of learning and history everywhere.
Please donate by December 31st and ensure that City Tavern remains a vibrant and welcoming part of the Washington community and beyond.
Happiest of Holiday seasons to you and yours with all our best wishes,
Photo Courtesy of Andrus S
In the midst of October’s stunning display of golden and crimson foliage, the City Tavern Preservation Foundation initiated a humble fundraising campaign to rally support for our upcoming Gala. The initiative was a raffle, offering an enticing prize: tickets to the annual City Tavern Gala! The response from the community was nothing short of extraordinary. Over 25 days, supporters came together, generously contributing to the cause, and in the end, nearly $2000 was raised. The City Tavern Preservation Foundation was not only astounded by the generosity of the donors but also deeply touched by the shared dedication to preserving a piece of history.
The City Tavern, standing tall and proud, is more than just a building; it’s a repository of memories and stories, a testament to the rich heritage of our city. The funds raised through the raffle represent a significant step forward in the ongoing mission to restore and preserve this historical landmark. Every dollar collected signifies the community’s commitment to safeguarding our shared history for future generations.
All the generous donors’ names were meticulously added to a non-biased randomizer generator with the utmost attention. Amongst the sea of names, one stood out – Andrew P. A hearty congratulations are for Andrew P., the fortunate recipient of two tickets to this year’s annual Gala.
The City Tavern Gala promises an evening of elegance, culture, and celebration. Those fortunate enough to attend are in for a treat, with exquisite cuisine, captivating entertainment, and the chance to mingle with fellow history enthusiasts. Andrew P. is set to embark on an unforgettable journey, a night where history and contemporary charm coalesce.
A Heartfelt Thank You
The success of the October raffle was not merely in the funds raised, but in the sense of unity and purpose, it fostered within the community. The City Tavern Preservation Foundation extends heartfelt gratitude to each and every donor who participated. Your contributions have paved the way for the ongoing preservation efforts, ensuring that the City Tavern Building continues to stand tall, telling the tales of our past for generations to come.
As the fall season fades into winter, the City Tavern Preservation Foundation looks forward to a future illuminated by the glow of historic preservation and community spirit. With the support from the October raffle, the Foundation is empowered to take significant strides in its mission. Plans for restoration, educational initiatives, and community outreach are on the horizon, promising a vibrant future for the City Tavern and its surrounding community.
The success of the October raffle serves as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our community to safeguarding our heritage. The City Tavern Preservation Foundation’s journey is far from over, and with the continued support of passionate individuals like you, the preservation efforts will only grow stronger. Together, we are not just preserving a building; we are maintaining the soul of our city, ensuring that the echoes of the past resonate through the corridors of the City Tavern for generations.
Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey. Here’s to preserving history and creating a legacy that will endure time.
In celebration of Native American History Month, the City Tavern Preservation Foundation welcomes you to delve deeper into the vibrant tapestry of indigenous cultures that once thrived in the land that is now our beloved Washington, D.C. As we honor this significant month, let us embrace the spirit of respect, understanding, and collaboration, laying the foundation for a more inclusive world.
Before the arrival of European settlers, the area we now call home was populated by Algonquin communities who resided in villages along the banks of the Potomac River and its tributaries. These indigenous peoples, including the Piscataway and Nacotchtank tribes, are deeply connected with the land, relying on its resources for sustenance, shelter, and spiritual fulfillment. Their rich cultural heritage and profound wisdom continue to inspire us today.
We encourage everyone to take a moment to educate themselves about the history and contributions of these Indigenous peoples, whose legacy is an integral part of our local heritage. Engaging with the resources we have gathered can provide valuable insights into their way of life, their customs, and their enduring impact on the Washington, D.C. area:
- NEA’s Resources for Teaching about Indigenous Peoples: Explore educational materials that shed light on the indigenous cultures of the D.C. area and beyond.
- Indigenous DC: Native Peoples and the Nation’s Capital: Watch insightful videos that uncover the historical narratives of the Native peoples in the nation’s capital.
- Native American Digital Resources: Access a treasure trove of digital resources that showcase the art, history, and traditions of Native American communities.
- Land Acknowledgment by ARL: Learn about the significance of land acknowledgment and its role in recognizing the indigenous peoples on whose land we reside.
- Ancestors: Contemporary Art of Native Americans: Explore an upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery of Art that celebrates the contemporary artistry of Native Americans, bridging the past and the present.
- Native Peoples of Washington, D.C.: Delve into the detailed account provided by the National Park Service, offering a comprehensive overview of the native cultures that once inhabited our region.
By immersing ourselves in the stories and traditions of the indigenous peoples who called this land their home, we honor their legacy and contribute to the ongoing dialogue of cultural understanding. Let us continue to seek knowledge, engage in meaningful conversations, and support organizations that amplify Native voices.
Together, let’s build a future where every community is valued, respected, and empowered, guided by the wisdom of those who have walked these lands for generations.
With warm regards,