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Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation presenting a part of the historic district in the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has 7300 employees at this location and globally. (Employees figure is modelled[clarify].) There are 37 companies in The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation corporate family.
Its 301-acre (122 ha) historic area includes several hundred restored or re-created buildings from the 18th century, when the city was the capital of Colonial Virginia; 17th-century, 19th-century, and Colonial Revival structures; and more recent reconstructions. An interpretation of a colonial American city, the historic area includes three main thoroughfares and their connecting side streets that attempt to suggest the atmosphere and the circumstances of 18th-century Americans. Costumed employees work and dress as people did in the era, sometimes using colonial grammar and diction (although not colonial accents).
In the late 1920s, the restoration and re-creation of colonial Williamsburg was championed as a way to celebrate rebel patriots and the early history of the United States. Proponents included the Reverend Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin and other community leaders; the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now called Preservation Virginia), the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations; and the wealthy Rockefellers: John D. Rockefeller Jr., and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
Colonial Williamsburg is part of the part-historic project, part-tourist attraction Historic Triangle of Virginia, along with Jamestown and Yorktown and the Colonial Parkway. The site was once used for conferences by world leaders and heads of state, including U.S. presidents. It was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1960.