Finding Hamilton in NYC

Photo by Evelyn Kanter

Where the Founding Father (and Broadway musical star) lived, worked and more

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Can’t get – or afford – tickets to the blockbuster Tony-winning Broadway show Hamilton? Here’s where to see Hamilton in New York City, for free or for less than the price of his picture on a $10 bill. These NYC spots include where he lived, worked, died, or is otherwise memorialized.

Not surprisingly, the popularity of Hamilton on Broadway (and the 11 Tony Awards it has won) has made everything related to Hamilton in NYC more popular.

Hamilton Grange National Monument
Hamilton built this federal-style house in 1801 as a country retreat, back when this part of Manhattan was still farmland. The floor-to-ceiling shutters offer commanding views from the hilltop location and the surrounding park is lovely. Neat adjacent row houses were built in the early 20th century on land Hamilton once owned. Park Rangers give hourly tours.

Hamilton Burial Site
Trinity Churchyard, adjoining Trinity Church, is in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Miraculously, the church and churchyard escaped destruction on September 11, 2011, as did its sister church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and its churchyard, a few blocks away. Hamilton, his wife Eliza, and their eldest son Philip are buried here, along with other Revolutionary Era notables.

One of those notables is Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat which helped make New York City one of the busiest ports in the world and a world financial center. Another is John Peter Zenger (1697–1746), the newspaper publisher whose libel trial helped establish the right to a free press.

Since Trinity Church is at 75 Broadway, yes, you can tell friends you really saw Hamilton on Broadway.

Be sure to go inside St Paul’s Chapel to see the pew where George Washington worshipped, and the memorial to 9-11 first responders with hundreds of badges and other mementos. St. Paul’s was used as a refuge by first responders, who often slept on the wooden church pews. There also are free concerts and other events here.
St. Paul’s is on the corner of Vesey Street and Fulton Street, which was named for Robert Fulton, buried in Trinity Churchyard near the Hamiltons.

There’s also a Trinity Graveyard and Mausoleum uptown, in Washington Heights, adjoining Hamilton Heights. Famous souls resting here include naturalist John James Audubon, author Clement Clarke Moore (A Visit from St. Nicholas), actor Jerry Orbach, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, and Eliza Bowen Jumel, ex-wife of Aaron Burr.

Download the free Trinity Church mobile app for a guided tour of all three sites.

Morris-Jumel Mansion
Built in 1765, the Morris-Jumel is the oldest surviving private dwelling in Manhattan, filled with Georgian, Federal and French Empire furnishings from its various owners, and a convoluted history that reads like a pulp novel. Like Hamilton Grange, it was built as a country getaway, by British officer Roger Morris. (Nearby Mount Morris is named for him.)

George Washington camped here briefly, using the house at his headquarters during the Revolutionary War after Loyalist Morris skipped town, and again a few years later for the first presidential cabinet meeting, which
included both Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Vice-President Aaron Burr.

There are other connections, too. French merchant Stephen Jumel purchased the house for himself and his wife, wealthy socialite Eliza Bowen in 1810. After Jumel’s death, Eliza married Aaron Burr in the front parlor, soon after the famous duel in which Hamilton died. It wasn’t a happy marriage, and lasted less than a year before she kicked him out. Their divorce was final on Sept. 14, 1836, the day he died in Staten Island. Her lawyer was Hamilton’s son. Eliza’s ghost is said to haunt the place.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion website has a video intro by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the blockbuster Broadway musical, Hamilton, who wrote part of the musical here.

Central Park
A larger-than-life-size statue of Hamilton marks the entrance to Central Park’s East Drive at 83rd Street, near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is unusual because it is carved entirely of granite, including the base. Hamilton’s grandson John C. Hamilton donated the piece to New York City in 1880.

Museum of American Finance
Hamilton, who created the nation’s banking system, was the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. So he would have loved the Museum of American Finance, housed in a former bank building on Wall St. The Hamilton Room contains a permanent exhibit on Hamilton’s impact on world commerce, where you can drool over gold coins from around the world, and more. Interactive exhibits make this fascinating for all ages.

The museum is at 48 Wall St., at the corner of William St., close to both the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall National Monument, where Washington took the oath of office as first US President, when New York City was the nation’s capital.

Gold Vault Tour
Show me the money! There’s as much as $100 Billion in bills and gold stashed beneath the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and you can see some of it free. Tours are conducted on weekdays, except when there’s a bank holiday or a security threat locks down the place. Speaking of security: no cameras or camera-equipped mobile devices are allowed. Stash them in secure lockers. Only 25 visitors at a time are permitted on the tours, and you must make your reservations online ahead of time and bring the printed ticket for admission. I recommend arriving in the early afternoon, after the school groups have left. The Federal Reserve Bank is at 33 Liberty St.

Aaron Burr’s Carriage House and Horse Stable
The vice-president’s former “garage” in Greenwich Village is now one of the most romantic, and pricey, restaurants in New York City. One if by Land, Two if by Sea is in a landmark building dating from 1767. If dinner is too steep, have a drink at the bar, where you’ll see the iron rings attached to the wall where Burr’s horses were tethered.

At A Glance

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