Where it Happened | Essays

Where it Happened

Aug 30, 2016

16-17 Season | August 30, 2016

Can’t get enough of the Tony Award ® and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Hamilton? (We all can’t!) Can’t get a ticket? (We all can’t!) But you can still get the Hamilton experience by taking a trip down town. Remember that lyric, “Everything is happening in the greatest city in the world.” The FiDi district is home to Fraunce’s Tavern, Federal Hall and Trinity Church which are all mentioned in the Broadway smash hit.

Fraunces Tavern in downtown Manhattan

Fraunces Tavern in downtown Manhattan

Fraunce’s Tavern has been in operation since 1762 and was a popular drinking spot for, “young, scrappy and hungry,” revolutionaries Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton.  The location is portrayed in act one of the popular musical when the young revolutionaries sing “The Story of Tonight.” It is said that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr shared a meal there just one week before their fatal duel that ended Hamilton’s life. Today, it is both a fully functioning tavern and restaurant as well as a museum. You can either stroll through their galleries for an informative history lesson or you can sit down and have a pint in honor of our founding fathers.

Just down the street from the tavern is Federal Hall on 26 Wall Street. In 1788, the first congress met in Federal Hall to draft the Bill of Rights. The spot was also where George Washington took his first inaugural oath as our country’s first president in 1789. Alexander Hamilton’s home was located just a block away on wall Street.

Alexander Hamilton founded the Bank of New York in 1797. The site of that first bank is now the current Museum of American Finance. If you visit the site at 48 Wall street, you can visit their Hamilton room which features signed documents and examples of his written work.

Alexander Hamilton's final resting spot in Trinity Church Cemetery.

Alexander Hamilton’s final resting spot in Trinity Church Cemetery.

End your Hamilton journey at Trinity Church Cemetery where the real Alexander Hamilton is laid to rest. His grave and monument attracts countless visitors per year. The church and adjacent cemetery are registered Historical landmarks and the church yard is open from 8am till sunset.

Of course the best way to wrap up a busy day in the FiDi district is to unwind and see a show at the Schimmel Center.  You can find the Schimmel’s entire line-up for the 2016-2017 season at SchimmelCenter.org. If you can’t get into the room where it happened,  you will be down the street from where it really did happen and you may discover the next big thing.