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Walking Down Wall Street

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26 Wall Street
Federal Hall National Memorial behind the statue of George Washington

George Washington sculpture on the steps of Federal Hall in lower Manhattan.

Photo © S. Carroll Jewell

26 Wall Street Fast Facts

  • 1842
  • U.S. Custom House; U.S. Sub-treasury; Federal Hall National Memorial
  • Architects (1833–1842):
    • Ithiel Town (Town & Davis)
    • Samuel Thompson
    • John Ross
    • John Frazee

Greek Revival

The grand columned building at 26 Wall Street has served as a US Custom House, a sub-treasury, and a memorial. Architects Town & Davis gave the building a domed shape and pristine classical details similar to Palladio's Rotunda. Broad stairs rise to eight Doric columns, which support a classical entablature and pediment.

The interior of 26 Wall Street was later re-designed, replacing the interior dome with a grand rotunda, which is open to the public. Vaulted masonry ceilings exhibit an early example of fire-proofing.

Federal Hall National Memorial

Before Town & Davis built the classical columned building, 26 Wall Street was the site of New York's City Hall, later known as Federal Hall. Here, America's First Congress wrote the Bill of Rights and George Washington took the first presidential oath of office. Federal Hall was demolished in 1812, but the stone slab upon which Washington stood is preserved in the rotunda of the current building. Washington's statue stands outside.

Today, the National Park Service and the United States Department of the Interior maintains 26 Wall Street as the Federal Hall Museum and Memorial, honoring America's first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.

Next: 40 Wall Street >

 

SOURCES: Landmarks Preservation Commission, December 21, 1965 and May 27, 1975.

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