Federal Hall was the first capitol building of the United States of America. Located at 26 Wall Street in New York City building was replaced in the 19th century by the first United States Customs House and operated since May 26, 1939 by the National Park Service as the Federal Hall National Memorial.
Although there is only one year housed the Congress, here important events in American history took place: the first oath of office to George Washington, the adoption of the Bill of Rights, and the Northwest Ordinance.
The old building: Seat of the First Congress
Originally the building was built in 1700 as the Town Hall of New York City. 1735, the British authorities arrested the newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger, because he should have slandered the British Governor of New York. Zenger was imprisoned in the Federal Hall, where his trial was held. His acquittal - on the grounds that the allegations against the governor were true - is considered the beginning of the freedom of the press in the 13 colonies.
Delegates of the 13 colonies met here in October 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act of George III. to protest. It was the first meeting of a colony -wide opposition to British rule. The delegates drafted a letter to George, to the House of Lords and the House of Commons, in which they demanded the same rights as the people of Great Britain. In the Federal Hall was built as the slogan " no taxation without representation ".
After the American Revolution, the architect Pierre Charles L' Enfant left the Federal Hall off and rebuild. After the American constitution was in 1789 entered into force, the Federal Hall was since March 4, 1789 the meeting of the U.S. Congress. The Congress was one there, the electoral votes for election of George Washington, the ableistete here his oath of office as the first President of the United States.
Many of the most important laws of the United States, Congress passed in its first ten years. To this end, the adoption of the Bill of Rights, belongs on September 25, 1789. The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the judiciary at the federal level that exists in the U.S. today. And Congress passed there, the Northwest Ordinance, which established the area of the later states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin as part of the United States, stated that there could arise states, and there banned from the beginning of slavery.
1790 moved to the U.S. government and Congress to Philadelphia, so the Federal Hall once again housed the city government of New York City. In 1812 they had the house torn down, and build the first customs house on the USA in the classical style, which opened in 1842. Later, there was one of the branches of the Federal Reserve Bank.
The new building shows the relation of the Americans to the ancient democracies and their ideals. The products designed by Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis Doric columns of the facade are similar to those of the Parthenon in Athens and show the relation to the Greek democracy. , Designed by John Frazee dome inside is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome and the economic power of the Roman Empire.
In the ranking of New York City landmarks, the Federal Hall is mostly behind the diagonally opposite the New York Stock Exchange. Publicly best known is a bronze statue of George Washington, which stands on the site where he was inaugurated.
Federal Hall National Memorial
The Federal was declared on May 26, 1939 National Historic Site and misdeclared on August 11 National Memorial. In the National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service took over the building on 15 October 1966.
The building now houses a museum dedicated to the public - is available free of charge - except holidays. In 2004 it attracted over 150,000 visitors. The exhibitions in the building are:
- George Washington's Inauguration Gallery - Including the Bible on which he swore his oath of office.
- Freedom of the Press - The arrest and trial in the case Zenger
- Journey to Federal Hall - Eight minute video about the history of the place
On 6 September 2002 traveled 300 congressmen to New York to play away in the Federal Hall, just four blocks from Ground Zero decide to meet. That should show support for the city after the attacks of 11 September and was the first meeting of the Congress in New York City since 1790.