Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)
A virtual orphan in the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton used his intelligence and determination to start a new life in New York City. Visitors enter Hamilton’s “study,” and explore his personal and professional life, including an interactive station where they can read and decode the first issue of the Federalist Papers. A social-media-type installation, called Federalbook, engages today’s visitors in Hamilton’s personal side (his likes, hobbies, etc.) as well as his social and political circle—both his friends and his enemies.
The “nation” side of the pavilion uses Hamilton’s role as the first secretary of the treasury to consider the early days of the United States, when survival, even in the short run, demanded a staggering number of good decisions on questions of enormous importance. Hamilton is responsible for, among other features of the financial system, the currency and banking system we use today.