Description - 26 Wall St. was the site of New York City's 18th century City Hall. It was the seat of New York's colonial government and the meeting place of the Stamp Act Congress which assembled in October, 1765, to protest "taxation without representation". After the American Revolution, the Continental Congress met at City Hall, where the Northwest Ordinance establishing procedures for creating new states was adopted in 1787.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, the national capital remained in New York. Pierre L'Enfant was commissioned to remodel City Hall for the new federal government. The First Congress met in the new Federal Hall and George Washington was sworn in here as President on April 30, 1789. When the capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the building again became City Hall until it was replaced and demolished in 1812.
The current structure on the site was built as the Customs House in 1834-1842. In 1862, Customs moved to 55 Wall Street and the building became the U. S. Subtreasury. Millions of dollars of gold and silver were kept in the basement vaults until the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Subtreasury system.
- Visitors are invited to tour this site of many famous events. Exhibits include: George Washington's' Inauguration gallery - see the bible George Washington used to swear his oath of office. - Freedom of the Press- Learn about the Trial of Peter Zenger and the battle for freedom of the press - Arts in the Parks - See award winning paintings of various National parks in a variety of mediums. - Journey to Federal Hall - An 8-minute video about the history of Federal Hall.
Many educational programs are available at Federal Hall National Memorial. The programs include: Weapons of the American Revolution, site History, and American Revolution History. The programs are given at 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. School groups are welcome with advance reservations for tours. The museum can be toured by school groups without a guided tour at any time. There must be one chaperone for every ten students. For reservations call 212 825-6888. Contact the park for more information.
Recreation - Activities available at Federal Hall include touring of this historic site, viewing the exhibits and attending the educational programs described above.
Climate - Summers can be warm to hot and humid. Light clothing is recommended. Winters can be quite cold. Warm outerwear may be required.
Federal Hall is located in lower Manhattan at 26 Wall Street, on the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street. Parking in downtown Manhattan is extremely limited and extremely expensive. Driving is not recommended. Use of mass transit is preferable.
Seventh Avenue #2 and #3 subway trains stop at Wall and William Streets, one block east of Federal Hall; Lexington Avenue #4 and #5 subway trains stop at Wall Street and Broadway, one block west of Federal Hall; J M and Z subway trains stop at Wall and Broad Streets Monday through Friday. Frequent bus service is provided by route M-6 on Broadway, one block to the west, and by route M-15 on Water Street, three blocks to the east.