Wall Street’s Parthenon
To anyone in New York City, Federal Hall Memorial and the Parthenon may not look anything alike. But you cannot try and compare the two buildings directly for the obvious reason that they were built for completely different reasons, time periods, and importance. On one hand, the Parthenon was originally constructed in 432 BC as an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena, and on the other, Federal Hall Memorial built in 1842 as a memorial on the site of the old Federal Hall. The Gods were so important to the ancient Greeks that the Greeks were willing to spend 15 years of hard manual labor to build the Parthenon to pray. However, when looking closer at both the actual structure and symbolism of the two buildings, it becomes clear that the Federal Hall Memorial was consciously and fittingly built with the Parthenon in mind. The first similarity I noticed about Federal Hall was that it was raised from the street level, where pretty much every other building was built. Sure, it is not raised above everything so that the whole city could see it, but there would be no purpose for that, even if it were possible to do in New York City. It is not the most important building in the city, and it does not need to be able to be seen by everyone. Another similarity that can be seen right away is the Doric order that was clearly followed while designing and constructing the exterior of Federal Hall. We can see this by looking at the columns and their simple capitals, along with the Doric frieze with the three lines, and the simple triangular pediment. Another not so apparent similarity are the statues in each monument. The Parthenon was devoted for prayer, and appropriately, there is a statue of the Goddess Athena. Similarly, Federal Hall was the site of our first Presidential inauguration, and other historical events like the Bill of Rights being introduced. Rightfully, there is a statue of our first president, George...
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