The Federal Reserve Bank is the central bank of the United States, responsible for determining how much currency is circulating, regulating banks and the banking system, and printing new money while disposing of old money, among other things. There are twelve Federal Reserve Banks located throughout the United States; the bank located in New York is the largest and has the distinction of having the largest gold repository in the world.
The Federal Reserve Bank is a rather imposing structure, built with large stones with the intention of looking like a fortress. Even if you don’t go inside, it’s worth a look if you enjoy architecture and are in the neighborhood. If you wish to tour the inside of the bank, including the gold vaults, you can book a free tour online. However, tours fill up quickly, so make sure you plan ahead and book your ticket as soon as you are able. Visitors are able to walk through a small museum designed to educate them on the Federal Reserve system, its functions, and a bit about how currency and the markets work. While visitors are able to go to the museum on their own, members of the tour are guided through the highlights, including a large container filled with shredded money. The museum itself is also quite interesting, featuring lots of neat architectural details. After a walk through the museum visitors are led to the gold vaults where they are able to see the world’s largest supply of gold.
While a visit to the Federal Reserve Bank might not be first on your list of must-see New York attractions, our time there was interesting and informative. It is worth visiting, especially if you are interested in history and money.