I always like to keep up with new developments when it comes to historical landmarks in New York City. There are many groups and interested individuals, myself included who work hard to maintain the cultural integrity of the city. This is an interesting update written by Geoffrey Montes, featured recently in Architectural Digest about Grand Federal Hall.
With a handsome Greek Revival façade, deep historic roots, and a coveted Wall Street address, New York’s Federal Hall National Memorial is one of the city’s most significant landmarks, though perhaps one of its least well-known. Built in 1842, the collonaded edifice replaced the site’s original 18th-century government building, which hosted the first session of the U.S. Congress as well as George Washington’s 1789 inauguration. A bronze statue commemorating the latter event, designed by John Quincy Adams Ward, stands on the front steps of the current structure, which initially served as a customs house. In recent years it has been a free museum dedicated to President Washington and historic events that happened at the site.
Despite its prominent background, the building has slowly deteriorated and is now in need of a refresh. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently named the building to its National Treasures program, announcing a $300,000 grant from the American Express Foundation to restore the landmark’s iconic exterior stairway. The National Parks Service, which owns and operates the site, and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy are also partners in the project. Set to begin in the fall of 2016, the restoration will be coupled with a large-scale public engagement campaign designed to elevate the landmark’s visibility among tourists and locals alike.