The Virginia Governor's Palace was completed in 1722 - a full 16 years after construction began - and instantly became one of the most elegant and impressive buildings in Colonial America.
The palace is clearly a statement of power, with impressive gates, grounds and chambers inside. Governors who lived in the original palace included Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Robert Dinwiddie, Hugh Drysdale, Alexander Spotswood and others.
After undergoing various renovations over the years, the role of the palace changed in 1780 after the government moved to Richmond. In 1781, the palace served as a hospital for soldiers wounded at the Battle of Yorktown, and more than 150 are buried in the palace garden. The building was destroyed by fire later that year, and was reconstructed during the mid-1900s as an exhibition site that today includes original artifacts and decor.