Fraunces Tavern, a major setting in Hamilton: An American Musical
We ran into New York City-based writer B.L. Barreras at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where he was promoting his recently self-published book Where Was the Room Where It Happened? The Unofficial Hamilton: An American Musical Location Guide. The guide is intended to offer expanded information on locations included in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.
Barreras breaks down the type of locations into places that were the setting for scenes, places mentioned in lyrics, places that were the location for events in the show, but may have been shown differently. Barreras also acknowledges that Lin-Manuel Miranda had to take some liberties due to the constraints of set making and show flow on a physical stage and that the book is not intended to point out such differences.
The book is divided into six chapters: locations in New York City, other locations of note connected to Alexander Hamilton in the city, Hamilton-related things to do in the city, Hamilton locations in New Jersey, Hamilton locations elsewhere (like Philadelphia, Albany, Yorktown, even England), and suggested itineraries to take it all in. For Aaron Burr fans, there’s an itinerary devoted just to him.
Barreras has kindly provided us with the highlights of the Hamilton locations from his book, which we’ve excerpted. So without further ado, here are 10 notable locations from the musical and join Barreras for a book signing at the PIQ store in Grand Central Terminal on September 30th at 5pm.
The Hamiltons were living on the property where the Grange was to be located (the home was still under construction) when Philip Hamilton was killed in his duel – Alexander Hamilton speaks with Philip before his duel in “Blow Us All Away,” and Hamilton and Eliza would have taken solace there as sung in “It’s Quiet Uptown.” Eliza would have been at the Grange the morning of Hamilton’s duel with Aaron Burr and would have spoken to him there in “Best of Wives and Best of Women.” Eliza lived at the Grange for a time after Hamilton’s death while she started working on telling his story in “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.”
Hamilton Grange is operated by the National Park Service and has ranger-led tours. The memorial is open 9-5 W-Sun, and admission is free. Fun fact: The Hamilton Grange was actually moved twice, most recently from 2006 to 2011 to this spot in St. Nicholas Park.
The context of numerous songs indicate that a portion of the dialogue would have taken place in the residences of Alexander Hamilton, of which additional locations in New York City include 26 Broadway, across from Charging Bull, 57-58 Wall Street and 54 Cedar Street. None of the original buildings still stand and there are no plaques at these locations relating to Hamilton.