Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun-Mon, closed; Tue and Thu-Sat, 10am-4pm during summer; Wed, 10am-6pm during summer; Sun-Mon, closed during summer
J, Z at Broad St.; 2, 3 at Wall St.
$8, $5 students and seniors; free for children 6 and under
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Continuous videos and audio commentary echo in the high-ceilinged exhibition hall of the Museum of American Finance, like a less frenzied version of a trading floor. It's an apropos environment for this Smithsonian Institution affiliate, which offers a comprehensive look at the inner workings and history of the American economy. Spanning three floors of the historic Bank of New York building, the museum has preserved many of its Colonial Revival architectural elements and restored the arched, commerce-themed murals by artist J. Monroe Hewlett. Curved marble staircases lead to the Grand Mezzanine level, where permanent and special exhibits display the nation's largest museum archive of financial documents and artifacts. Ticker tape from the stock market crash of 1929 and the transaction slip for the Louisiana Purchase are juxtaposed with interactive media stations, including touch-screen monitors that allow visitors to select questions and "interview" American entrepreneurs or explore the security features on a magnified dollar bill. Two additional rooms stem from the main exhibition floor: an exhibit on the history of currency and a room dedicated to Bank of New York founder Alexander Hamilton. The remaining two floors of the museum are reserved for administrative offices, archives, and an educational center for school groups.New York Stock Exchange
One block away from the New York Stock Exchange (now closed to the public), the museum serves as the NYSE's de facto visitors' center.