Federal Hall National Memorial

Overview

26 Wall Street was the site of New York City's 18th century City Hall. Here John Peter Zenger was jailed, tried, and acquitted of libel for exposing government corruption in his newspaper, an early victory for freedom of the press. City Hall hosted 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, and in 1787 adopted the Northwest Ordinance establishing procedures for creating new states. When the Constitution was ratified in 1788, New York remained the national capital. Pierre L'Enfant was commissioned to remodel City Hall for the new federal government. The First Congress met in the new Federal Hall, and wrote the Bill of Rights, and George Washington was inaugurated here as President on April 30, 1789. When the capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the building again housed city government until 1812, at which time Federal Hall was demolished. The current structure on the site was built as the Customs House, opening in 1842. In 1862, Customs moved to 55 Wall Street and the building became the U. S. Sub-Treasury. Millions of dollars of gold and silver were kept in the basement vaults until the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Sub-Treasury system in 1920.

Please Pardon the Dust: Federal Hall National Memorial will be undergoing needed maintenance work through the fall and into the winter. The staff asks for your patience as crews scrape and paint doors, handrails and window casings, both inside and outside the building. National Park Service Rangers will be available to assist with any questions regarding work during this time.

Map

Activities

Seasonality / Weather

New York winters can be hard, with extreme cold, winds, and snowfall. Summers are hot and humid. Spring and Fall are mild and the best time of year to travel around the city.

Directions

Driving: 

The main entrance of Federal Hall is located at the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets.

The rear entrance, which is wheelchair accessible, is located at the intersection of Pine and Nassau Streets.

It is highly recommended that all visitors use mass transit to arrive at Federal Hall.

Street parking in downtown Manhattan is extremely limited. There are many parking garages in the area, but they are very expensive. Please use Public Transportation, if possible.

Public Transportation - Frequent service is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week by subway and bus. The #2 and #3 subway trains stop at Wall and William Streets, one block east of Federal Hall. The #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. Bus service is provided by route M-15 on Water Street, three blocks to the east. See www.mta.info for shedules and information.

Public Transport: 

There are a variety of subway lines near Federal Hall National Memorial, 26 Wall Street, Manhattan.

* Take the 4 or 5 (green) subway to the Wall Street stop. Exit at Wall Street and Broadway. Go right (east) on Wall Street.

* Take the J or M or Z (brown) subway to the Broad Street stop. Exit at Wall and Nassau Streets. Go right (east) on Wall Street.

* Take the 2 or 3 (red) subway to the Wall Street stop. Exit at Wall and William Streets. Go left (west) on Wall Street.

* Take the 1 (red) subway to the Rector Street stop. Exit at Rector and Greenwich Streets. Go right (east) on Rector towards Trinity Place. Turn left on Broadway. Turn right on Wall Street.

* Take the R or W (yellow) subway to the Rector Street stop. Exit at Rector and Trinity Place. Go right (east) on Rector towards Broadway. Turn left on Broadway. Turn right on Wall Street.

* Take the A or C (blue) subway to the Fulton Street stop. Exit at John and Nassau Streets. Go right (south) on Nassau towards Maiden Lane. Turn left on Wall Street.