26 Wall Street
New York City, NY 10005
Lower Manhattan: Tribeca, Battery Park City & the Financial District
NileGuide Expert tip:
Self-guided tours of Federal Hall are available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Free guided tours are available Monday through Friday every hour from 10am to 3pm, subject to staff availability.
Federal Hall, located at 26 Wall Street, served as the birthplace of American government: George Washington took the first presidential oath of office here on April 30, 1789 (a large statue of Washington commemorates this event) and the first Congress met in Federal Hall while drafting the Bill of Rights. After Philadelphia beat out New York as the national capital in 1790, the building served as New York's city hall (as it had in the pre-Revolutionary years) until it was demolished in 1812, when the current City Hall was completed. A customs house built on the site opened in 1842; when customs moved 20 years later, the building became the U.S. Sub-Treasury. It held millions of dollars worth of gold and silver in its subterranean vaults until 1920, when the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Sub-Treasury system. Today, the museum at Federal Hall National Monument chronicles 400 years of New York's history, including the central role the city played in the earliest beginnings of the United States of America.
Photo courtesy of Federal Hall National Memorial