Federal Hall, nestled at the intersection of Nassau and Wall Streets, is a testament to the power of Greek architecture, especially the Pantheon, as a model for civic architecture in New York City. Federal Hall started its life as the US Customs House. Before the introduction of income tax, customs duty provided 95% of the Federal Government’s revenues, and 75% of this revenue came from the port of New York City.
The building was constructed between 1837 and 1842. Four architects worked on it; the most of famous of which were Town & Davis, who built some of New York City’s iconic early buildings.
The building’s architects appropriated the forms of a Doric temple from ancient Greece. The architecture seems to embody the civic ideals of the new nations–of democracy and liberty.