9. Clinton Hall (Nassau on the corner of Beekman Street)

Image via New York Public Library, Robert N. Dennis Collection

Clinton Hall was one of Herman Melville’s oft-attended haunts on his walks through the neighborhood. In addition, it was also the inspiration for a memorable segment of Moby Dick. Clinton Hall was home to the Phrenological Cabinet, an intriguing showcase for the plaster casts and charts of famous men’s heads. These casts and charts were believed to reveal certain things about the person’s mind. This practice was eventually satirized in a passage that describes the phrenology of “the Leviathan” as a “delusional” practice, “for his true brain, you can see no indications of it, nor feel any. The whale, like all things that are mighty, wears a false brow to the common world .”