Must-See Lower Manhattan
by Colleen Clark and nycgo.com staff, 04/17/2013
Federal Hall National Memorial. Photo: Will Steacy
Federal Hall National Memorial
26 Wall St., 212-825-6990
Fraunces Tavern Museum
54 Pearl St., 212-425-1776
Sure, Washington, DC, has the White House, but the real roots of presidential power lay in downtown Manhattan: George Washington was inaugurated on the balcony of Federal Hall, which was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices. You can take weekday tours of Federal Hall National Memorial (built in 1842 as a customs house on the site of the original structure), but if you really want to commune with ol' Georgie, we suggest toasting to his memory at his old stomping grounds, Fraunces Tavern. It was within this humble three-story brick building that revolutionaries plotted the New York Tea Party, merchants founded the New York Chamber of Commerce and Washington famously bade farewell to his officers in 1783. These days you can walk through the tavern's colonial rooms, checking out Revolutionary-era firearms, early American flags and old-school drinking memorabilia.