Federal Hall
Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America, and was the site of George Washington's 1789 inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of Rights was passed. The building was demolished in 1812.

Federal Hall National Memorial
, was built in 1842 as the New York Customs House, on the site of the old Federal Hall. It is operated by the National Park Service as a museum commemorating the historic events that happened there.

The original structure on the site was built as New York's City Hall in 1700.

In 1788 the building was remodeled and enlarged under the direction of Pierre Charles L'Enfant who was later selected by President George Washington to design the capital city on the Potomac River. This was the first example of Federal Style architecture in the United States. It was renamed Federal Hall when it became the first Capitol of the United States under the Constitution in 1789.
In 1790, the United States capital was moved to Philadelphia and what had been Federal Hall once again housed the New York City government until 1812, when the building was razed. The current structure, one of the best surviving examples of classical architecture in New York, was built as the country's first Customs House.
Two prominent American ideals are reflected in the building's architecture: The Doric columns of the facade, designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis, resemble those of the Parthenon and serve as a tribute to Greek democracy; the domed ceiling inside, designed by John Frazee, echoes the Pantheon and the economic might of the Romans.

The current building is well-known for the 1882 bronze statue of George Washington on its front steps, marking the site where he was inaugurated as US President in the former structure.
The building was designated as Federal Hall Memorial National Historic Site on May 26, 1939, and redesignated a national memorial on August 11, 1955.


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Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator