What once marked the northernmost point of Manhattan today houses the office of the mayor and serves as a gathering place for demonstrators voicing concerns and the news crews that cover their stories. This is the oldest City Hall in the country, a striking (but surprisingly small) building dating back to 1803. If the history of local politics and architecture is your thing, free tours are available (sign up in advance online). Tours begin outside. Indoors, highlights include the Victorian-style City Council Chamber, the Rotunda where President Lincoln lay in state in 1865 under a soaring dome supported by 10 Corinthian columns, and the Governor's Room, an elegantly preserved space with intricate portraits of historic figures and a writing table that George Washington used in 1789 when New York was the US capital. If nothing else, take a moment to snap a photo of the columned exterior and see the small but lovely City Hall Park, bound by Broadway to the west and Chambers Street to the north. This park is an underrated place to stop and take a breath away from the typical congestion of Lower Manhattan.
City Hall Park, New York, New York, 10007, United States
212-788–2656-for tour reservations