'Hamilton' spurs interest in Hamilton's history in NYC
"Hamilton" the musical has its Broadway opening Thursday night, but already the show has generated enormous buzz from its time Off-Broadway and in previews.
But in addition to driving demand for tickets, the show is drumming up new interest about Alexander Hamilton's ties to New York City.
Hamilton was very much a New Yorker and relics of his past are all over our modern city.
In the heart of Harlem on West 141st Street is one of Hamilton's former homes, which he named the Grange. Inside visitors can see original artifacts like the chair he sat in as he worked and his daughter's piano.
"This is where Hamilton walked, this is where Hamilton sat, where he argued, where he thought, where wrote prolifically," said Liam Strain, North District Ranger for the Manhattan sites of the National Park Service, which owns and maintains the Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
The Memorial offers free tours in English and Spanish, which more and more people have been taking advantage of after seeing the musical.
"It makes everything come alive and gives you background for the play," said Jane Davis of Virginia, who stopped by to see it right before going to the show.
Hamilton's history in our area stretches across the river to New Jersey and down to lower Manhattan where he and his wife are buried in the cemetery at Trinity Church.
Blocks away is the Fraunces Tavern, a popular restaurant today where hundreds of years ago revolutionaries like Washington and Hamilton got together for Beers, and where Hamilton once worked.
"Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the Department of Treasury so on the second floor here he would have had offices," explained Jessica B. Phillips, executive director of the Fraunces Tavern Museum.
Phillips says attendance has been up at the museum and tavern as fans of the show have sought out more details about Hamilton.
"There's been a lot more interest and it's nice to see a different age group interested in American Revolutionary History, younger people," Phillips said.
After the show has its official Broadway opening, history buffs expect plenty more theatergoers will be joining their ranks.