The Tun is the Founding Place of the Marines, Pennsylvania Freemasons, and St. Andrew’s Society; the Navy, Society of St. George, and the Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick also have an early and long heritage at The Tun

Philadelphia (April 30, 2024) – The Tun Tavern Legacy Foundation, Inc. (Foundation), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, today announced it acquired land to rebuild and reestablish an authentic reproduction of the original Tun Tavern building in Philadelphia. The Tun, constructed in 1693, is the birthplace of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania (1731) and the first documented lodge in North America, and the founding place of the St. Andrew’s Society (1747), and the United States Marine Corps (1775). It is also the early first meeting place of the Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick (established 1771), the Society of St. George (founded in 1772, with earlier meetings at Tun Tavern), and is purportedly the place where John Adams and the Naval Committee met and drafted documents that outline the structure for what became the United States Navy (1775). A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for November 2024 in advance of the Navy and Marine Corps’ 250th Homecoming Celebration in 2025.

The Tun™ will be located at 19 S. 2nd Street  in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, known as “America’s most historic square mile.” The location is within 250 yards of the original Tun Tavern site at Water Street and Tun Alley on Philadelphia’s waterfront, where the Tun stood until 1781.

“The land purchase is the first step in reconstructing Tun Tavern. With the land acquisition, we have a strong base to move forward with the fundraising necessary to rebuild the historic Tun Tavern,” said Rob Brink, Foundation Board Chair and Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Free and Accepted Masons. “The Foundation will operate The Tun™ as a functioning mariner’s tavern and restaurant reminiscent of colonial Philadelphia. By providing educational experiences through exhibits, historical documents and special events, we will educate visitors about the significance of Tun Tavern in American history.”

Private donations, corporate partnerships, foundation support, and federal and state grants will fund the reconstruction and reestablishment of the building. The proposed development, when completed, is expected to result in $16.1 million in upfront economic impact and support 80 FTE jobs citywide. Annually, the project is expected to generate an additional $34.6 million in economic impact from operations and visitor spending and support 330 FTE jobs.

“The Tun is revered and celebrated not only in U.S. Marine history but in five other organizations’ histories that pre-date the Continental Marines connection, and we will honor it with a deep appreciation for its historical significance to Philadelphia and America,” said Patrick Dailey, President and Founder of the Foundation, a Marine, and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and The Society of St. George. “Once we are operational, all profits will be donated in perpetuity to support the causes of the organizations founded at The Tun.”

“With the Tun Tavern Legacy Foundation leading the way, Marines of past, present and future will have their rightful gathering spot in the very city where the Marine Corps was formed. The Marine Corps Association is a major supporter of bringing the Tun back for all to enjoy,” said LtGen Charles G. Chiarotti, USMC (Ret), President & CEO, Marine Corps Association.

“I am excited to learn about the proposed reconstruction of the Tun Tavern, a historic location that witnessed a tremendous amount of early Philadelphia and early American history being made,” said Councilmember Mark Squilla, District 1, Philadelphia City Council. “At least six prominent organizations that still exist today have a heritage with The Tun. Widely known as the founding place of the United States Marines, the Tun Tavern was also the earliest documented Freemason  Lodge in Pennsylvania and the meeting place for charitable organizations that are still flourishing today, including the St. George, St. Andrew, and Friendly Sons of St. Patrick societies. John Adams and the Naval Committee met at the Tun Tavern to organize what became the U.S. Navy. The plans to restore The Tun will take it from a historic sign on Front Street to a real, tangible place that will both entertain and educate residents and visitors about our history. This project will magnificently contribute to the continued success of the Old City restaurant scene and tourism when Philadelphia, the first World Heritage City, celebrates our nation’s 250th birthday in 2026 and beyond.”

The Tun Street Level