5. L’Enfant’s Federal Hall was sold for $465

1939 drawing of the Federal Hall at George Washington’s inauguration. Image from Wikimedia Commons

In 1790, the U.S. Capitol was moved to Philadelphia, and so there was no longer a need for a Capitol building in New York. In 1811, the new Federal Hall that still stands today was completed, and the old historic Federal Hall was sold at auction for $425. Its buyer, Ephram Jennings, quickly made plans for the building’s demolition.

As the building became dust, so did the place where George Washington was inaugurated; so did one of the finest examples of architecture from the Federal period. By 1812, L’Enfant’s classically inspired masterpiece was no more.

In 1842, the Federal Hall Memorial that still stands today was erected where the old City Hall had been. The new building served as a sub-Treasury building before it became a national historic memorial.