Colonial WilliamsburgColonial Williamsburg is the historic district of the town of Williamsburg, Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is comprised of most of the buildings that comprised the original colonial capitol of Wlliamsburg, most of which have been restored to their original 18th century appearances. Colonial Williamsburg is owned and operated (as an open-air museum) by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and is not directly affiliated with the nearby Colonial National Historical Park.
For many years after the colonial era, the old capitol part of Williamsburg was neglected as the modern town was built around it. Fearing that the building in the area would be destroyed as time went on, W. A. R. Goodwin, pastor of the Bruton Parish Church, started a movement to preserve the buildings in the district, and signed on John D. Rockefeller as his primary source of funding. Since then, Colonial Williamsburg has been nearly completely restored, and features shops, taverns and open-air markets in the colonial style. The western side of the district, near the College of William and Mary, has been designated for modern shops under the name "Merchant's Square".