Revolutionary Revelations: My Commute with Alexander Hamilton
Okay, I admit it.
I am part of a cultural phenomenon. I am one of the over 1,000,000 people who now own the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording. That’s right, the album went Platinum and I am one of the addicted. It is a bit like a plague in my head. The songs whirl through my mind all day, as the co-workers who sit next to me can attest. Sometimes I can’t help but blurt out lyrics, sorry marketing mates.
I have taken to listening to it as I walk to work, paying attention to the lyrics, casually trying to commit them to memory. It was on one such morning that the lyric “32,000 ships in New York Harbor” hit me. Our office overlooks New York Harbor!!! Imagine that sight.
Wait…I work in the oldest part of New York City. Wait…Alexander Hamilton’s grave is right up the street at Trinity Church. Wait…how many landmarks are in my everyday commute that connects with this musical that I am painfully addicted to?
Well, how many indeed? And how many of these locations can I link to Hamilton lyrics? Let’s see:
Our Office Building
By August 1775, British General William Howe had landed 32,000 troops on Staten Island, including 9000 Hessian mercenaries.
St. Francis Tavern
Just a stone’s throw from our building, is this where Hamilton and he compatriots raised a glass to freedom? After all, it is the tavern where George Washington bade farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolutionary War.
Hamilton’s company and other infantrymen tried to seize 24 cannons from the British stronghold at the southern tip of Manhattan.
St. Paul's Chapel
Right up the Street from One New York Plaza, Trinity Church's historic chapel, built in 1766, is NYC's oldest church building. During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton drilled troops in its churchyard.
Hamilton likely witnessed George Washington being sworn in to the office of the Presidency on April 30, 1789 on the balcony of Federal Hall. Fun fact, in 1804 Hamilton tried the US first murder case here. Another fun fact, in 210 years later, 2014 Spacesmith provided a site analysis and programming study developed with the purpose of reinvigorating Federal Hall as a venue for exhibitions and events.
Following the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York State, Continental soldiers and patriots toppled the park's statue of King George III, and parts were melted down and made into ammunition.
Alexander Hamilton was a member of Trinity Church, but whether he attended services is not known. His funeral was held there and he was buried near the southern fence.
So, if you work near Battery Park or the Exchange like we at Spacesmith do…take stock of all the Hamilton history around us and take a walk!
Kristen Persinos - Marketing Director