Fraunces Tavern. Photo: Marley White
Alexander Hamilton was an “obnoxious, arrogant, loudmouth bother,” to hear Aaron Burr sing it in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize–winning musical Hamilton. Maybe Burr is a little biased. But even Hamilton himself couldn’t have imagined that—200-plus years after he was appointed secretary of treasury—a Broadway show based on his life would become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed in history. He might have even asked, “What’s a Broadway show?”
So whether you're a hardcore "Hamilfan" or are still waiting to get tickets, New York City—Hamilton’s home for his adult life—can serve as one big, interactive history lesson on the founding father. Here’s how to see the real-life version of the show all around NYC.
1. Columbia University
West 116th Street and Broadway
Alexander Hamilton was born on a tiny Caribbean island to a single mother who died when he was 13 years old. From a young age he was an avid reader and demonstrated an impressive intellect. An essay for his local paper about a hurricane that hit his town caught the eye of community leaders, who sent him to NYC to study at King’s College (now Columbia University) when he was 17.
King’s is where Hamilton honed his oratorical and literary skills. He joined the literary Philolexian Society (which is still around today) and wrote popular pamphlets supporting Revolutionary causes, including “A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress” and “The Farmer Refuted.”
After the American Revolution, Hamilton helped reestablish the school, which was renamed Columbia College. Four of his sons attended and graduated from the university.
What you’ll see: Columbia University doesn’t much resemble what it looked like in Hamilton’s day—after all, back then it was located on Park Place in Lower Manhattan—but if you check out Hamilton Hall (1130 Amsterdam Ave.), you’ll see a statue of the statesman out front.
Morris-Jumel Mansion. Photo: Julienne Schaer
2. Morris-Jumel Mansion, Washington Heights
Roger Morris Park, 65 Jumel Terrace
George Washington stationed himself in Morris-Jumel for several meetings in the fall of 1776. It’s where he planned the victorious Battle of Harlem Heights, in which Alexander Hamilton fought and where the two Constitution signatories first met.
Hamilton worked his way up from a volunteer member of the militia to General Washington’s aide in 1777. In 1790, after the war had ended, Washington hosted a dinner and outing there with his administration. Hamilton, now secretary of treasury, and his wife, Elizabeth (also known as Eliza), attended.
Aaron Burr—Hamilton’s rival who killed him in an 1804 duel—lived in the house for a short time. Burr’s second wife, the widowed, wealthy Eliza Jumel, owned the home when she married Burr.
What you’ll see: Washington’s war room (now the bedroom), where Lin-Manuel wrote part of Hamilton. The dining room is also where Washington held one of his first cabinet meetings, with Hamilton in attendance.
Hamilton Grange. Courtesy, NPS
3. Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Hamilton Heights
West 141st Street and Hamilton Terrace
Hamilton moved into stately Hamilton Grange—named after his ancestral land in Scotland and built by City Hall architect John McComb Jr.—in 1802, after his son Phillip died in a duel defending his father’s name against accusations of infidelity. Hamilton only resided there for two years before he died in his own infamous duel with Aaron Burr.
Since its construction, the house has been moved twice. Here is a rundown of how the process went in 2008. Hamilton Grange originally sat on 143rd Street and Convent Avenue before it moved in 1889 to 287 Convent Ave., right next to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (see next entry). It now resides in St. Nicholas Park.
What you’ll see: Period-decorated rooms with Eliza Hamilton’s serving tray, the family piano from Eliza’s sister Angelica (who was very close with Hamilton—in fact, some historians think she may have been in love with him)—and a replica of Hamilton’s writing table.
4. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Hamilton Heights
435 W. 141st St.
Hamilton Grange sat next to this church from 1889 to 2006.
What you’ll see: A statue of Hamilton stands in front of the church.
5. Uptown Arts Stroll
If you want to be inspired like Lin-Manuel Miranda, take part in the monthlong Uptown Arts Stroll, which connects arts venues from West 135th to West 220th Streets. The event is run by Lin-Manuel’s father himself. Attend concerts, plays and workshops in West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. For more information, visit artstroll.com.
6. 82 Jane Street: Hamilton died at his friend William Bayard’s house in what is now the West Village. A plaque in front of the address marks the site, though according to research it’s off by a just a bit.
Photo: Marley White
7. Trinity Church Cemetery: Hamilton is buried in the churchyard of this historic chapel.
Fraunces Tavern. Photo: Marley White
8. Fraunces Tavern: Hamilton and Burr shared a meal here one week before their duel.
9. New York Post: Hamilton founded this newspaper as the New-York Evening Post in 1801. It’s still in print and at newsstands throughout NYC.
10. JP Morgan Chase & Company: The dueling pistols of Hamilton and Burr reside in the Midtown office building. Unfortunately, the display isn’t open for public viewing—but the pistols are sometimes lent out to museums for historical exhibitions.
11. $10 bill: You can see a $10 bill outside of New York City, but we just wanted to remind you that Hamilton is still on it. To get your hands on one, try paying for a $10 item with a $20 bill.