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Adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange stands a Greek Revival building, rather short compared to some of the skyscrapers standing in the Financial District. On this very spot George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States.

Federal Hall 2

The building where George Washington was inaugurated, unfortunately, no longer stands. In addition to the inauguration, this former building was a city hall of the city of New York, the first capitol of the United States, and the meeting place of the first United States Congress. The building that stands today was a United States custom house and a sub-treasury building.

Visitors to Federal Hall today are greeted by a large statue of George Washington himself, giving a sense of the significance of the site for American history. The building houses a few exhibits related to Washington’s inauguration, including pictures, memorabilia, and accounts of the event. Visitors can also get a sense for the history of the original structure, learning about the different uses it served during its history. Finally, Federal Hall serves as a central point for the National Park System within New York, so visitors can learn a bit more about the different parks in the city. While the exhibits are not large, they are informative. A visit won’t take long, but it is well worth the effort to go, if nothing else to stand in a place that has such significance for the history of the United States.

Federal Hall 1