HistoryIn 1988, John Herzog established the Museum of American Financial History. The institution's first temporary exhibits were held at the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House. The following year, the museum received official tax exemption through a provisional charter. Throughout the 1990s, the Museum of American Financial History occupied multiple buildings on Broadway in Lower Manhattan. The Smithsonian Institution formed an official partnership with the museum in 2001. Corporate gifts and other generous funds quickly poured in following this new connection. In 2005, the entity was renamed the Museum of American Finance as part of a rebranding initiative. The museum relocated to 48 Wall Street, a building that once served as a headquarters of a regional bank. Many original interior features, such as the grand lobby and vault, have been preserved and smoothly integrated into the permanent exhibits.
Collection and FeaturesAs you enter the Museum of American Finance, you'll be greeted by a beautiful rotunda with tall ceilings, arches and spiral staircases. Installed in a small room, Hamilton's Legacy features exhibits about Alexander Hamilton, who was the first leader of the nation's treasury. After learning about this Founding Father, you can check out the Out of the Vault exhibit that includes an original vault that was used by the bank that previously occupied the property. The Financial Markets gallery includes presentations on stocks, bonds, futures, commodities and other financial instruments. You'll also have the chance to see multimedia content on the thriving financial sector of New York City and the United States. For the Love of Money: Blacks on Currency is an exhibit that focuses on the history of the dollar. Some other notable features at the Museum of American Finance include Banking in America and the Theater 48. The gift shop is located on the lower level, which is accessible via the elegant spiralling stairs. After visiting the museum, you'll appreciate the importance of neighbouring landmarks, such as the New York Stock Exchange and the Charging Bull Statue.
Visiting Museum of American FinanceStanding at the corner of William Street and Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, the Museum of American Finance is easy to reach by public transportation. Featuring tracks for the 2 and 3 lines of the New York City Subway, the underground Wall Street station is literally situated steps away from the museum. The J and Z trains stop at the Broad Street station near the NYSE. If you're looking for an exciting way to get to the museum, hop on a commuter ferry that goes to Pier 11/Wall Street. You may also ride the Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal at the southernmost tip of Manhattan. Wall Street is a narrow road with one-way traffic, so driving to the Museum of American Finance is not a great idea. However, numerous indoor parking garages are scattered throughout the busy Financial District. It's highly recommended that you stroll historic Wall Street instead of just getting off a taxi near the main entrance of this museum.
Location: 48 Wall Street, New York City, NY
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