Despite the bitterly cold weather New York has faced lately, spring will be here before you know it. New York City is one of the oldest cities in the country and holds the secrets of a century’s worth of history. It was first inhabited by several Algonquian tribes of Native Americans, settled by the Dutch and called New Amsterdam in the 1600s, and then renamed New York City by the English when they took over in 1664. Since then, it’s had a colorful and fascinating history. So why not take a trip to some of the city’s historic sites this spring? Read on to discover some of the best historic landmarks in New York City.
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace and National Historic Site
28th E. 20th St.
New York, NY 10003
Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most beloved presidents in U.S. history. Affectionately called “Teddy,” he also happens to be the only president to have been born in New York City. Roosevelt lived at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace and National Historic Site from his birth on Oct. 27, 1858 until he was 14 years old. Tours of this site are provided by the National Park Service and occur on the hour from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with an hour break for lunch at noon. Tours last about 40 minutes and the site is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
National September 11 Memorial and Museum
180 Greenwich St.
New York, NY 10007
The recently completed September 11th Museum is a place that both native New Yorkers and tourists should visit at least once. The historical exhibition focuses on the days before 9/11, the day of 9/11 and the days after 9/11, while the memorial exhibition is dedicated to celebrating the lives of those lost on 9/11 and during the first bombing of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993. Visitors may go through the memorial and museum at their own pace, yet should expect it to take about two hours. Hours vary but do note that the museum is free on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to close.
Tenement Museum New York City
103 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002
The view of New York City from Ellis Island was a welcoming sight for many immigrants coming into the United States throughout the 19th and 20th century. The Tenement Museum is a living history museum devoted to telling the stories of the immigrants who called the tenement apartments at 97 Orchard St. home. It offers a wide variety of experiences such as walking tours, talks and guided tours. Ticket prices vary depending on which type of tour you’d like to take.
Related: 5 Best Historical Sites in New York
54 Pearl St.
New York, NY 10004
Take a trip to this somewhat overlooked spot on Pearl Street this spring. The Fraunces Tavern is open Monday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Its mission is to garner knowledge and appreciation for New York City history, especially during the Colonial, Revolutionary and Early Republic periods of American history. The site is significant because Fraunces Tavern was the site of the first offices of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, War and Treasury. If you’re in the mood for some food to go along with your visit, stop off at the Fraunces Tavern restaurant that’s located on the same site as the museum. You can have a drink at the “oldest standing structure in the City of New York” and where Washington gave his final address to his troops.
Washington Square Park
5th Ave. between Waverly Place and 4th St.
New York, NY 10003
Washington Square Park, located in Greenwich Village, is an iconic landmark in New York. It is run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and was created in 1871 with its famous Washington Square Arch. It’s a great place for cultural activity and prides itself as a place for nonconformists. It was a popular spot for artists after World War I and a place for members of the Beat, Folk and Hippie generations during the ‘50s and ‘60s. What would be a better way to spend a spring afternoon than walking through the footsteps of history at Washington Square Park?
Tracy lives in the downstate area of New York. Some might call her an avid graduation affectionate (MA, Fordham University & MLS, SUNY Buffalo). She’d say she’s just waiting for the right degree to come along with a promise and a ring someday. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.