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Williamsburg

Wren Building

The Wren Building is the signature building of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. Along with the Brafferton and President's House, these buildings form the College's Ancient Campus.Construction of the first building on this site began August 8, 1695 and was completed by 1700. After several fires and rebuildings, the Wren Building was the first major building restored or reconstructed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., after he and the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin began Colonial Williamsburg's restoration in the late 1920s.

The building is constructed out of red brick in the style of Flemish Bond, as was typical for official buildings in 17th and 18th century Williamsburg, including several walls remaining from previous structures, and it contains classrooms, offices, a refectory (known as the Great Hall), kitchen, and a chapel (added as a south wing in 1732).

Uses of the building:
he Wren Building is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States,ahead of runner-up Massachusetts Hall at Harvard.The Wren Building, previously known simply as "The College" or "The Main Building" was effectively the school's only academic building until the completion of the Brafferton building and President's House in the 1720s and 1730s. The campus only began its westward expansion in the first part of the twentieth century. Students studied, attended religious services, and lived in the Wren Building.

The Wren Building today has historical and ceremonial importance in addition to its academic use. Each year during the opening convocation ceremony, incoming William and Mary freshmen enter the building from the courtyard, pass through the central hall, and exit on the opposite side. As seniors, students pass through the building in the opposite direction on their way to the graduation ceremony.

The Yule Log Ceremony, the College's holiday celebration, is held every year at the Wren Building, typically during the second weekend in December. Each fall incoming freshmen take the school's Honor Code Pledge in the building's Great Hall.The Bishop James Madison Society, the College's second-oldest secret society, is rumored to meet in the Wren Building.