AHA for First Bank Initiative
The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society is a key leader of the First Bank Restoration Project to restore and reopen the First Bank building in Philadelphia as a museum dedicated to Alexander Hamilton and the nation's early economic and financial history.
About the First Bank Restoration Project
The First Bank building, part of the Independence National Historical Park, has been closed to the public for over three decades. The First Bank Restoration Project seeks to rehabilitate the First Bank building so that it may be opened to the public as a museum dedicated to the telling the story of the nation's early economic and financial history and Alexander Hamilton's critical role in establishing the country on a firm financial footing.
From the Friends of Independence National Historical Park website: "Every day this building sits vacant, is one more day visitors do not have the opportunity to experience one of the most important artifacts of our nation. It provides an opportunity to bring the legacy of Alexander Hamilton to life in the park that is dedicated to the birth and early growth of the United States. This building represents the untold story of what made our country a great nation and it is time to learn about our nation’s first central bank in the actual space."
Alexander Hamilton and the First Bank Building
As Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton proposed in his Report on a National Bank to establish a bank that would be partially owned by the government (20%) in order to house the federal government's finances. A national bank was one of the key pillars of Hamilton's economic design for the nation, and once it was created, it proved to be an important driver of economic growth and stability during its 20-year charter. Construction on the First Bank building began in 1795 right next door to the Treasury offices.
225th Anniversary of the First Bank - First Bank Restoration Project Kick-Off
On February 25, 2016, the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, Independence National Historical Park, the Friends of INHP, City Tavern, and the American Historical Theatre joined together to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the First Bank's chartering.
A debate between "Alexander Hamilton" and "Thomas Jefferson" on the necessity of a national bank was held at City Tavern, followed by a private visit inside the First Bank building with the leaders of the First Bank Restoration Project. This event was the official kick-off for the First Bank Restoration Project so that the public will also be able to enjoy this beautiful building and the important history it represents.
Additional resources about the First Bank
There are several books that provide information on the importance of the First Bank, including:
- Cowen, David J. The Origins and Economic Impact of the First Bank of the United States, 1791-1797
- Wright, Robert E. One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe
- Wright, Robert E., and David J. Cowen Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich
Additionally, the Federal Bank of the United States has published educational resources about the First Bank of the United States:
- First Bank - General Overview
- PDF - “The First Bank of the United States: A Chapter in the History of Central Banking”
Donate now to the AHA for First Bank initiative
Your donations will go toward to First Bank Restoration Project to restore and reopen the historically-significant First Bank building as a new museum.