Federal Hall National Memorial Untapped CitiesFrom L-R, Joshua Laird, Timothy McClimon, Stephanie Meeks, Marie Salerno & Shirley McKinney

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, along with National Parks of New York Harbor, and National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy announced a major restoration project this week on the Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street, thanks to a grant from the American Express Foundation. The work will include restoring marble and bronze elements on the building’s exterior, repairing deteriorating front steps, and adding architectural lighting to highlight the building at night.

200,000 visitors a year come to Federal Hall but a mere 1% of the 15 million people who pass by the historic site every year. The goal of the revitalization is to bring back Federal Hall as “America’s Front Door.”

Federal Hall Matters American Express Untapped CitiesThose in attendance, waving #ThisPlaceMatters banners as a recommitment to preservation

The $300,000 grant is in partnership with the National Park Service and the New York Harbor Conservancy, and restoration will begin in the Spring of 2016. In front of Federal Hall, the statue of George Washington in was a $75,000 restoration project of American Express Partners in Preservation campaign in 2012.

Oscar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater, spoke about the connection Federal Hall has to his current show Hamilton which opened at The Public Theatre in February. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Alexander Hamilton, tells the story about the founding of our country through the eyes of an immigrant orphan. He is saying, this is our country – come and reclaim that vision. This is the message Stephanie K. Meeks, the President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation wanted all to hear– Federal Hall is a place that matters.

The announcement included a dedication and recommitment on the part of the Trust to raise public awareness about Federal Hall, and its history. Meeks envisions a nine-month calendar of events to reintroduce the public to this historic site.

The National Trust invites you to let them know What Places Matter to You. Snap a photo of yourself in front of a place that matters, hold the #ThisPlaceMatters sign, and share on Twitter and Instagram at @SavingPlaces. If you don’t have a sign, you can download one at SavingPlaces.org-ThisPlaceMatters.  Federal Hall National Memorial is located at 26 Wall Street.

Read on for the 2015 list of the 11 of the 2015 most endangered historic places by the National Trust. Read more about Federal Hall here. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.