simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Federal Hall
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Monday, 28 May 2007

Federal Hall

Overshadowed by the New York Stock Exchange across the street and with all there is to do and see in NYC, Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street is easily overlooked. This beautiful, Doric-columned Greek revival structure with a simplified Parthenon facade is carved from marble; inside is a rotunda. Click here for more photos. National monuments are more the agenda of Washington D.C. visitors than NYC ones, but this is definitely worth a visit - it actually is one of the most important buildings in U.S. history and just completed a renovation in November 2006 (it had been closed since 2004). The site has played a part in American government for over 300 years. 26 Wall Street was the location of New York's City Hall, built in 1700. After the American Revolution, the Continental Congress met at City Hall. When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, New York remained the national capital. Pierre L'Enfant was commissioned to remodel City Hall for the new federal government, when it was renamed as Federal Hall.. The First Congress met in the new Federal Hall and wrote the Bill of Rights; George Washington was inaugurated here as President on April 30, 1789. When the capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the building again housed city government until 1812, at which time Federal Hall was demolished. The building that stands here now, was built in 1842 as the country's first Customs House. It was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, one of the most important architects of his generation who worked in the classical style. His was the winning entry in an 1833 competition. In 1862, Customs moved to 55 Wall Street and the building became the U. S. Sub-Treasury. Millions of dollars of gold and silver were kept in the basement vaults until the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Sub-Treasury system in 1920. The building is now run by the National Park Service and serves as a museum and memorial to the first President and the beginnings of the United States of America ...


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