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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House / National Museum of the American Indian

Exploring Downtown

 
 
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House / National Museum of the American Indian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 26, 2009
1. Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House / National Museum of the American Indian Marker
Inscription. Before the income tax was invented, the duty levied on imported goods financed almost the entire cost of Americaís federal government – and as much as 80 per cent of that duty came through the Port of New York, making the New York Custom House a major national financial power. Thatís why Customs could build the sumptuous, Beaux-Arts masterpiece that majestically anchors the vista at the foot of Broadway. Cass Gilbertís extraordinary monument is laced with symbols of international trade from Mercury, god of commerce, to Daniel Chester Frenchís huge, allegorical statues of, from left to right, Asia, America, Europe and Africa.

The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House now houses the George Gustav Heye Center of the Smithsonianís National Museum of the American Indian, bringing full circle the history of this remarkable site. The Museum sits on the original Algonquin trading ground at the foot of the Wiechquaekeck Trail, a centuries-old trade route whose original path has evolved into todayís Broadway. The Custom House adaptation for reuse as the Museum has returned a Native American presence to the site.
 
Erected by The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects marker series.
Marker at Bowling Green image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 26, 2009
2. Marker at Bowling Green
Bowling Green can be seen in the photo behind the marker.

 
Location. 40° 42.279′ N, 74° 0.838′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and Bowling Green, on the left when traveling south on Broadway. Click for map. Marker is at the south end of Bowling Green park. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Amsterdam (a few steps from this marker); Peter Caesar Alberti (a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing); Bowling Green Fence (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort Amsterdam (within shouting distance of this marker); American Merchant Marine (within shouting distance of this marker); Beaverís Path (within shouting distance of this marker); Bowling Green (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Battery Park & Castle Clinton (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. The top right of the marker features a picture of the interior of the Custom House. It has a caption of “The interior at the heart of the Custom House is the Rotunda, an enormous elliptical space of Classical grandeur. All 140 tons of its skylit dome are supported by the
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2009
3. Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
revolutionary Guastavino system of thin masonry vaulting – no steel, just tile and cement. The gorgeous cycle of murals adorning its walls – a Works Progress Administration project of 1937 by Reginald Marsh – pays homage to New Yorkís port, illustrating the progress of ocean liners into New York Harbor.” Below this is a photograph of two American Indian women, with the caption “A branch of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum presents Native American objects in the context of living cultures. Native Americans continue to thrive in the New York area, home to several Indian nations as well as two reservations on Long Island. The museum is an important center for todayís Native American life, and its exhibitions offer new perspectives on Native cultures past and present.” Also on the marker is a picture of “A deerskin bag made by a native Delaware artist, circa 1924. The George Gustav Heye Center is named for the New Yorker who assembled some one million native Indian objects from North, Central and South America in a collection that became the core of the National Museum of the American Indian.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers in lower Manhattan erected by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Also see . . .
Marker in Downtown Manhattan image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 26, 2009
4. Marker in Downtown Manhattan
The marker is located next to the Bowling Green subway station, seen here.

1. National Museum of the American Indian. (Submitted on June 26, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center. Smithsonian Institution website. (Submitted on June 26, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansNotable Buildings
 
Museum Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, June 26, 2009
5. Museum Entrance
The entrance to the National Museum of the American Indian, located in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, can be seen in this photo.
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House National Historical Landmark image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 27, 2010
6. Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House National Historical Landmark
- seen from the Bowling Green
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,573 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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