Sep 16, 2011

Alexander Hamilton's Home Reopens


Photo by NPS June 2011
 Hamilton Grange to Reopen September 17, 2011

Hamilton Grange - the only home ever owned by Alexander Hamilton - has moved to St. Nicholas Park. Alexander Hamilton was the first U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, a Founding Father, and political philosopher. He co-authored the federalist papers and was indespensable in the effort to get the constitution adopted.

Alexander Hamilton came to New York in 1772 at age 17 to study finance at King's College (now Columbia University). Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a Federal style country home on a sprawling 32 acre estate in upper Manhattan. This house was completed in 1802 and named "The Grange" after the Hamilton family's ancestral home in Scotland, but served as his home for only two years. On July 11, 1804, Hamilton was killed in a duel with his political rival Aaron Burr during their campaign for Governor of New York.

On May 27, 2008, Wolfe House & Building Movers began the delicate task of sliding the 298-ton Hamilton Grange National Memorial over the front porch of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on a railing system nearly 40 feet in the air. The process, which actually took several hours, was accomplished with the aid of the lo-tech and high-tech methods. Chains, clamps and towers of wooden supports kept the Grange stable. Hydraulic jacks pushed it incrementally along the steel I-beams. After each push, the jacks had to be moved forward to the next one, until the building finally reached the end of the rails and descended to street level.

Hamilton Grange Moving to new locationPhoto by NPS May 2008

In its new Saint Nicholas Park location, it will be possible to appreciate fully the beauty of the home that Hamilton helped design and which he called his "sweet project."

Hamilton Grange, fully restored and furnished will be rededicated in the morning and re-open to the public with an afternoon celebration from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17. Re-enactors will portray Alexander Hamilton and the ordinary New Yorkers who were his contemporaries. There will be music, games and crafts, and other family-friendly activities throughout the afternoon. The celebration continues Sunday with a lecture series from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



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