Lot 8, Test Cut BK, Lovelace Tavern, Late-17th- to Early-18th- Century Wooden Tavern Floor and deposit, Strata IX (544.1272)

(Late-17th - Early-18th Century)

Introduction: Lots 8, 9, and 15 are modern designations for adjacent parcels of land that were owned together and used as a single property until the early 1830's. Excavations produced important discoveries like that of the Colonial-era Lovelace Tavern, proving that significant archaeological resources could still exist in urban spaces. Project archaeologists were able to lobby for increased time and funds to continue their work on the strength of these finds, leading to additional discoveries. In all, the project provided considerable information about the history of New York City and its inhabitants from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

The tavern was constructed by the second English Governor of New York, Francis Lovelace, around 1670. Taverns were important spaces for colonial communities, serving as centralized meeting places that fulfilled important social, recreational, political, and economic functions. Lovelace Tavern became New York's temporary City Hall starting in the late-17th century after the Stadt Huys fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1706. 

Rationale: Remains of the Lovelace Tavern were first encountered during the excavation of Test Cut AQ. Overall, archaeologists excavated 27 test cuts inside, adjacent to, or within the walls of the tavern, representing around fifty-percent of the total area. Together, Test Cuts BK and BQ formed a 17.5-foot long trench in the southwestern Lovelace area. Both BK and BQ contained significant Lovelace Tavern materials and layers, including the burned remains of the original wooden floor. Abundant diagnostic artifacts and intact tavern layers made both test cuts integral to the archaeological project. 

Results: The burned remains of the original wooden tavern floor and materials associated with tavern use were encountered starting at 20-inches below excavation surface and extending another 3- to 6-inches. The floor remains included charred floorboards and two crossbeams. Crossbeams are thicker planks of wood or other material that provide added structural support to floors or roofs. Many artifacts were recovered from the layer, including the highest number of faunal remains found on the entire project. The layer's diagnostic artifacts date to the late-17th and the mid-18th century.

Lot 8, Test Cut BK, Strata IX, Level A

  • Collection method

    Trowel, Screen (1/2-inch mesh).

  • Soil description

    Burned Wood

Stadt Huys Block


View Site