January 21, 2008
By David Darlington
The stock market may be volatile these days, but the Museum of American Finance is bullish on the future of financial history. The museum re-opened its doors on Friday, January 11, after a $9 million renovation project. The museum is located one block from the New York Stock Exchange and operates with the goal “to become a major tourist attraction in lower Manhattan, an educational destination where busloads of school children can learn the basics about the country’s financial system, and an archive of mementos, artifacts and other memorabilia from some of the nation’s most famous financiers.” (See the article in USA Today).
The museum was started by Wall Street broker John Herzog after the 1987 market crash, and previously operated in a small space provided by the U.S. Customs House. The museum’s new location, at 48 Wall Street, is original Bank of New York headquarters building dating to 1797. The museum renovated and restored “the landmarked space, as well as creat[ed] engaging and interactive permanent exhibitions on the subjects of the financial markets, money, banking, entrepreneurship, and Alexander Hamilton. The museum’s new space also includes galleries for changing exhibits and a theater.” (From the museum’s home page.)
Richard Sylla and Robert Wright, financial historians at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, are the primary curators of the permanent exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm. Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for students/seniors; and kids 6 and under get in for free.