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NYC Grid is a photo blog dedicated to exploring New York block-by-block and corner-by-corner. Each post covers a new street or feature with a focus on the mundane and ephemeral.


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Before & After - Federal Hall


The above photo is interactive. Drag the yellow handle in the middle to reveal more or less of the before or after image. Alternatively, you can simply click anywhere on the image to move the slider automatically.

It's often mentioned that Federal Hall is where Washington was inaugurated as our first president. This is true, but – like most facts involving history – is somewhat misleading. The classical structure familiar to generations of New Yorkers was built over 40 years after Washington's death (1842). The original Federal Hall – the one that also acted as the nation's capital for a short period – was built in 1700 and had a balcony that was perfect for things like inaugurations. The current Hall's large steps which wrap around the statue of Washington are often mistaken as the site of the depicted historical event.

Sharing a similar history, Trinity Church (visible in the background) was built in 1846, but various buildings known as Trinity Church had been around since the late 1690's.

Photo source: Tom Riggle, Flickr

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