Federal Hall is a National Park which was once the first capitol building of the United States, the site of George Washington’s Inauguration, and where the Bill of Rights was introduced into the First Congress.
The original building was destroyed in 1812; however, a new building (Federal Hall Memorial) was built in its original location. This new building served as the US Custom House and then as the sub-Treasury building. The building was later modified by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who also designed Washington, DC.
Currently, the building is a museum run by the National Park Service. The original building served as a meeting place for the delegates of the 13 colonies (the Stamp Act Congress), which composed a protestation letter to King George the III with the famous line – “Taxation without representation” – regarding colonial rights.
The 1st United States Congress also met in Federal Hall to establish the new federal government of the United States. Additionally, the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution was proposed and ratified in this building. Visitors to the site can enjoy the wonderful architecture and iconic statue of Washington at the front entrance.
The building has undergone a sixteen million dollar renovation due to structural instability caused by the September 11th attacks. Inside, you can learn about New York’s role in the founding of our nation and see inaugural items, including the original Bible on which Washington took his oath of office in 1789.
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