New York City is a pivotal location in terms of our nation’s history being the center of the American independence movement, the site of the first presidential inauguration, and one of the nation’s first capitals. Many historical events have taken place in New York City, which has even been home to a few Commanders in Chief. These historic presidential moments and accomplishments established New York City as a cornerstone in American history.
In honor of Presidents’ Day, what better way to celebrate and honor our nation’s founding fathers and past presidents than by visiting historical sites across New York City? Here a few of our favorite things to do in the city on Presidents’ Day:
Federal Hall National Memorial, located in the Financial District 26 Wall Street, served as the original US capital building, where George Washington took the oath of office as our first president, and was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch Offices. It was also where the Bill of Rights was first introduced. Today, The National Park Service operates Federal Hall as a national memorial that is open free to the public. Exhibits include George Washington’s Inauguration Gallery, specifically the Bible used to swear in his oath of office.
The Great Hall, Cooper Union located at 7 East 7th Street is the site of many pre-presidential orations. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt all delivered speeches at the Great Hall. In particular, it was the stage where Lincoln delivered his “Right Makes Might Speech” in 1860, which called for the abolition of slavery. This speech stood as a major milestone in Lincoln’s ultimate rise to the presidency. Add address to all locations.
The General Grant National Memorial (Grant’s Tomb) located along West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive in Morningside Heights is the final resting place of the nation’s 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, and his First Lady Julia. Grant’s Tomb is the largest mausoleum in North America and is a National Park Service site. Visitors to the memorial can see the mosaic murals, which depict scenes from Grant’s life as well as scenes from important Civil War battles like Vicksburg and Chattanooga.
President and New York State Governor Theodore Roosevelt was born and raised in Manhattan in a townhouse at 28 East 20th Street in what is today known as the Flatiron District. The now recreated brownstone is where Roosevelt lived until he was 14 years old. Although the original building was demolished in 1916, the site was bought by the Women’s Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1919 and restored to replicate his original home. Today the brownstone is a National Park Service site, where visitors can take a tour of Roosevelt’s home and see artifacts and furnishings from his childhood.
The 18th century watering hole Fraunces Tavern located at 54 Pearl Street was popular before the Revolutionary War among both patriots and loyalists who formed alliances and patriotic factions while discussing ideas over beer. It was frequented by Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, as well as the Sons of Liberty, who used the tavern as a meeting place to rally support for the American Revolution. During the war the tavern was a target for the British who fired a cannonball on it but the tavern managed to survive and at the end of the war was the destination where Washington bid farewell to his troops. During the mid-to-late 1780s, the building housed the nation’s Departments of War, Foreign Affairs, and Treasury. Today visitors can see the reconstructed period rooms, paintings, and exhibitions as well as drink whiskey, beer, and American & Irish grub.
New York City was a historic setting for the likes of many influential US presidents, which helped shape the city into the vibrant place it is today. StuyTown apartments are just a short commute away from these historical sites. To find out more about our Manhattan apartment rentals, browse our no-fee apartment listings and contact us today!