Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat-Sun, closed
2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, M, Z at Fulton St.-Broadway/Nassau
The amount of money changing hands on Wall Street in a day is peanuts compared with the gold mine kept 80 feet below the financial district, inside the Federal Reserve Bank. There, some $195 billion worth of gleaming, pure gold, the world’s largest known accumulation, is kept on lockdown by a passel of armed guards. More than 25,000 people visit the massive, block-encompassing, Italian Renaissance reserve every year, enticed by free tours to see the modern-day treasure chest and the imposing vault that shelters it. After a mercifully short educational video about the Federal Reserve System, from which you’ll learn that much of the gold is owned by foreign governments and international organizations, visitors are taken down five floors via elevator and into the vault (through a transfixing 90-ton revolving steel cylinder). For ten minutes and under armed supervision, visitors peer through prison-style steel bars at endless rows of precisely stacked, brick-size bullion—no doubt fantasizing about their own Die Hard heist. Back upstairs, under towering stone ceilings, is a coin collector’s dream: an exhibit featuring a 1933 double eagle worth $7.6 million—the world’s most valuable piece of change.Tours
Mon.–Fri., 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.