During February, or any time, you can visit these New York City places with a special connection to US Presidents, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays we celebrate this week and next.
Several are National Park Service sites, with FREE tours by Park Rangers, and other events with re-enactors in period Revolutionary Era costume.
Federal Hall National Monument – George Washington took the oath of office on this spot on Wall Street, to become the first American President. It’s easy to find – just look for his larger-than-life bronze statue guarding the front steps. There’s a wonderful museum inside, with exhibits about New York City and our role in the early history of the USA, including as the first US capitol city, before that moved to Philadelphia and then Washington, DC. National Park Service direct link
SEE ALSO George Washington’s New York City
Morris- Jumel Mansion – This is the oldest surviving private dwelling in Manhattan, built in 1765 by a British officer as a country getaway, when this part of Upper Manhattan was still farmland. George Washington camped out here briefly, using the house at his headquarters during the Revolutionary War after the British Loyalist owner skipped town. Washington used the mansion again a few years later for the very first presidential cabinet meeting, which included both Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and lifelong rival Aaron Burr.
SEE ALSO Where to see Hamilton in NYC, including his home and burial site
Fraunces Tavern – Dating from 1719, this is where the Sons of Liberty met to discuss how to gain independence from the British, and also where General Washington bade farewell to his Revolutionary War officers, just before taking the presidential oath. Fraunces Tavern still is a place to eat and drink. There’s a Colonial-style menu downstairs and a small museum upstairs. Fraunces Tavern website.
Grant’s Tomb – He’s not just the man whose face is on the $50 bill. Ulysses S. Grant was a Civil War general before he became President. He and his wife are buried in the largest mausoleum in the United States, which overlooks the Hudson River in Manhattan, close to where they lived after leaving the White House. National Park Service direct link to what is known officially as the General Grant National Monument.
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace – The only US President born in New York City, his childhood home in what is now called the Flatiron District is a National Historic Site. Teddy Roosevelt also served as NYC Police Commissioner, and founded the national park system, saving millions of acres of land for public use. National Park Service direct link to the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site. He was also a devoted conservationist, and was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History, where there is a the wing named for him.
FDR Memorial – Called the Four Freedoms Park, this space honoring Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, overlooking the United Nations and lower Manhattan across the East River. The park opened officially in 2012, and takes its name from one of his most famous speeches – the president’s 1941 State of the Union address, in which he expressed his belief in the universal rights of freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
For Veterans Day, we published a similar round-up of the top war memorials in New York City, where you can honor the service men and women who served their presidents proudly.
Note that we are not including Trump Tower as a NYC place with a special connection to US presidents, because it is mainly a commercial building with shops, and luxury apartments above, including the sprawling penthouse of the 45th US president and his wife and young son.
This article was posted originally in Feb. 2016 and is updated annually for Presidents Weekend.