ABSTRACT

Heralded as a “monumental move,” in 2008 the National Park Service successfully relocated Hamilton Grange to its present location in St. Nicolas Park in upper Manhattan. It took only 38 days to move the building-but the process was nearly 65 years in the planning. And, in fact, this was the second time the Grange had been moved to improve its prospects for preservation and interpretation as the only surviving home, built 1801-1802, of Alexander Hamilton. The National Park Service had accommodated the presence of moved buildings within its administrative policies since the 1930s, when it was assigned the task of being the chief federal historic preservation agency. The former firehouse known as “John Brown’s Fort,” which is now located at Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, is famous for its mobility, having been relocated at least four times since the Civil War. And, ironically, after all its ambulation, the engine house-turned-fort has still not returned to its original historic foundations, which are buried 18 feet beneath an extant railroad grade.1