Merchants Square

Merchants Square is a 20th-century interpretation of an 18th-century-style retail village in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

Merchants Square and Resort Historic District
Merchants Square in spring
Merchants Square is located in Virginia
Merchants Square
Merchants Square is located in the United States
Merchants Square
LocationBoundary St., Duke of Gloucester St., S. England St., Francis St., Henry St. Prince George St., Williamsburg, Virginia
Coordinates37°16′14″N 76°42′6″W / 37.27056°N 76.70167°W / 37.27056; -76.70167Coordinates: 37°16′14″N 76°42′6″W / 37.27056°N 76.70167°W / 37.27056; -76.70167
Area49 acres (20 ha)
Built1927 (1927)
ArchitectPerry, Shaw & Hepburn; et al.
Architectural styleColonial, Colonial Revival
NRHP reference No.06000365[1]
VLR No.137-5027
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 3, 2006
Designated VLRDecember 7, 2005[2]


Conceived in 1927 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Reverend W. A. R. Goodwin,[4] Merchants Square is considered to be one of the first planned shopping districts in the United States, if not the first.[4] Small shops throughout Williamsburg would move into a centrally located area that used architecture that was in harmony with the restoration's character. William Graves Perry, chief architect of the Williamsburg Restoration, designed the shopping district.[5]

Most of the stores and shops are located on Duke of Gloucester Street (DoG St.) right across from The College of William & Mary’s campus.[4] To keep the area as close to historical accuracy as possible, all telephone wires were placed underground, and modern day technologies such as air-conditioning ducts and garage equipment were hidden with shrubs and plantings.[4]

Present dayEdit

Another view of the square

Today there are over 40 shops and restaurants located in Merchants Square.[6] The area is also used for other purposes, such as seasonal concerts, a farmers' market, and special movie screenings.[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. December 16, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Merchants Square – History. Retrieved on June 28, 2008.
  5. ^ Morrill, Matthew (2009-05-05). "The Development of Merchants Square: Colonial Imagery and the Consequences of Redevelopment in Williamsburg, Virginia and Other Small Towns, 1910-1955". Undergraduate Honors Theses.
  6. ^ a b Merchants Square – Home Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on June 28, 2008.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Merchants Square at Wikimedia Commons