Alexander Hamilton US Custom House Tours

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Long before the Alexander Hamilton Custom House was constructed in the early 1900s, the area served as an important trading place for Native Americans living in the region. The ornate building’s ode to commerce is not only a fitting home for the National Museum of the American Indian’s New York outpost—its exhibits and open-to-the public offerings have occupied parts of the building’s first and most of the second floor since 1994—it also offers visitors who make the trek to Manhattan’s far south a two-for-one: the historic Beau Arts building is an attraction in itself.

Across from Battery Park, the finely detailed trapezoidal exterior sits squarely in a city block. Forty-four carved-out columns adorning its façade are topped with images of Mercury, the Roman God representing commerce, a reminder of the building’s original tenants who collected taxes on imported goods from the Port of New York, then the country’s most prosperous trading post. Seated sculptures representing America, Asia, Europe and Africa, were carved by the same sculptor who carved the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. An equally elaborate marble interior culminates in colorful mosaics leading up to the domed rotunda, with its spectacular and light-infusing glass top.

All of this was almost lost to time—its exterior granite covered in algae and plants and interior crumbling from disuse—but a complete restoration in the 1980s revitalized the building. The structure is listed as a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, and tours detailing the building’s architecture and history take place throughout the week (check in with the Visitor’s desk at the museum for times).

Practical Info

The Alexander Hamilton Custom House is located at 1 Bowling Green in Manhattan. The entrance of the Bowling Green Subway Station (4 and 5 trains) is across from the building’s north side, and buses M5, M15 and M20 service the area. The building itself does not have parking, but there are several nearby garages.

The National Museum of the American Indian, the George Gustav Heye Center, is open daily from 10am til 5pm (except Thursdays when it remains open until 8pm). Admission and tours are free. The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, and a regular slate of public programming.
Location
Address: 1 Bowling Green, New York City, New York, USA
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Hours: Open daily from 10am-5pm (except Thursdays when it remains open until 8pm)
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6 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Lower Manhattan Tour: Wall Street and 911 Memorial

Spend your morning learning about one of the nation's biggest tragedies during this Lower Manhattan tour of Wall Street and the 911 Memorial. Explore the Financial District and walk in the shadows of Wall Street's towering skyscrapers as you learn about the history of finance and banking from your friendly guide. Then head to the 9/11 Memorial, where you'll discover the history and impact of this dark day's events on the city and on the world.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$35.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$35.00 USD

Full-Day NYC Small-Group Tour

Experience the ultimate New York City tour on this guided, full-day outing. This comprehensive, one-of-a-kind, small-group experience is a walking, subway and ferry tour of the Big Apple. The authentic trip features famous landmark locations and sites, like Times Square, the Broadway Theater District, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and much more.  Approximately 5 miles of walking.  Please do not book this tour if you cannot walk 5 miles over 7 hours.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$109.00 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$109.00 USD

Private Downtown All Access One World Observatory 9/11 Memorial Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

This 5-hour private walking tour of downtown Manhattan includes visits to the 9/11 Memorial, the One World Observatory, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Round-trip ferry ticket and all entrance fees are included on this private tour, which guarantees personalized attention from your guide.
  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
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$225.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 to 6 hours
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$225.00 USD

NYC Highlights Small-Group Tour

Experience the best of the Big Apple during this half-day small group tour of Manhattan. You'll get a truly authentic city experience as you follow your guide through the vibrant streets, colorful neighborhoods and historic landmarks of this world class destination. Whether you're a first time visitor or a long time local, this is the tour for you!
  • Duration: 6 hours
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$74.00 USD
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$74.00 USD

Wall Street and 911 Memorial Walking Tour

Explore the bustling, vibrant capital of world finance with a 1.5-hour walking tour of Wall Street, and learn its history of soaring fortunes, dramatic crashes and intrigues. Follow your guide through the heart of Manhattan, and enjoy live narration on a personal audio device. Hear about the dynamic characters that shaped the American economy, pause for a selfie with the Wall Street bull and bear, and see the the lofty architecture that defines this compact neighborhood. Finish your tour at the 9/11 Memorial, a moving museum at the Ground Zero site.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
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$35.00 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$35.00 USD

Downtown Manhattan Walking Tour in Russian

Russian-speaking travelers who want to explore lower Manhattan will love this private walking tour with Russian-speaking guide. Skip the lines as you follow a licensed guide through top attractions, landmarks and highlights--some of which are inaccessible to regular tourists. This popular option is perfect for first-time visitors who want an overview of the area.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$300.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$300.00 USD


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