Lot 8, Test Cut BW, Lovelace Tavern, Late-17th- to Early-18th- Century Wooden Tavern Floor and Deposit, Strata V (544.1555)

(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. Test Cut BW was a 3- by 5-foot excavation unit placed south of the cobble storage pit found in Test Cut  BL. Remnants of the Lovelace Tavern's western wall and floor deposits were found in Test Cut BW. Overall, archaeologists excavated 27 test cuts inside, adjacent to, or within the walls of the tavern, representing around fifty-percent of the total area.

Results: A Lovelace Tavern deposit and the remains of its wooden floor were found underneath disturbed 19th-century fill in the eastern 3/4ths of Test Cut BW. This deposit extended between 8- and 22-inches below excavation surface and contained an abundance of diagnostic 17th-century artifacts. Jumbled remains of the tavern's western stone wall were also located along the western edge of the deposit in this layer.  

Lot 8, Test Cut BW, Stratum V, Level A

  • Collection method

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

  • Soil description

    Tan to Red Brown Sandy Silt, Mortar

  • Munsell

    10YR 5/3 - 10YR 6/4

Stadt Huys Block


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