Governor's Palace, View Looking Northeast

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Governor's Palace, View Looking Northeast


Governor's Palace (Williamsburg, Va.)
Block 20. Building 03A.
Historic Buildings - Virginia - Williamsburg
Public Buildings - Virginia - Williamsburg
Architecture, Colonial - Virginia - Williamsburg


Exterior of Governor's Palace, looking to the northeast from the Robert Carter house, 1933. “The Governor’s Palace was an important element in [Williamsburg’s] great civic design. Sited at the end of a broad, imposing green, the governor’s residence terminated in the primary north-south axis of the town. The high visibility and symmetrical formality of this complex did much to reinforce the importance of the governorship in the eyes of Virginians.” Construction began on the Governor’s Palace in 1706 under Governor Edward Nott, and finished in 1722 under Governor Alexander Spotswood. In the early 1750s, Governor Robert Dinwiddie commissioned the construction of a Ballroom Wing addition behind the Palace.

The Robert Carter House (out of view, but whose front yard is pictured here) is one of the original eighty-eight buildings at Colonial Williamsburg. It served as the gentry-class townhouse residence of various members of the Carter family throughout the eighteenth century, beginning with Charles Carter, the son of Robert "King" Carter, and ending with Robert Carter III of Nomini Hall. Governor Dinwiddie also briefly resided in the house during the renovations of the Governor's Palace between 1751 and 1752. 

(Source: Michael Olmert and Suzanne Coffman, Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg [Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2007], 88-89).


Shaw, Thomas Mott



Date Created



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Rights Holder

Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Graphite on paper

Physical Dimensions

43.5 x 29 cm


Shaw, Thomas Mott, “Governor's Palace, View Looking Northeast,” John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed January 29, 2023,