US Treasury Cash Room

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The US Treasury Cash Room dates back to 1869, when it was the location for the transaction of the government’s financial business. The Treasury needed a bank in the building, and so one was built — in the style of “a roofed version of an Italian palazzo, a traditional bank design throughout Europe.” It features seven different types of marble, three big old chandeliers

Adorable bit of trivia:

Prior to it completion as a bank, the Cash Room was chosen as the site for the Inaugural Reception for President Ulysses S. Grant on March 4, 1869. Two thousand invitations were sold, each admitting one gentleman and two ladies. Unfortunately, lack of planning to control the crowd of six thousand turned the event into a disaster.

According to a report the next day in the Evening Star there was a “wild hunt for overcoats,” as hats and overcoats had been jumbled together in the fourth-floor cloakroom without regard for a number system. Gentlemen had to wait in the corridors for hours to retrieve their garments. Others were forced to leave without wraps, only to return the next day to try again.

It was a “banker’s bank” but it also did things for private citizens, like cashing checks. New deliveries of coinage and paper currency would be brought there and stored in its vaults, millions of dollars’ worth at a time.

The Cash Room closed in 1976 after it became clear that the costs of upkeep and running it were fast outpacing its actual usefulness. It had fallen into some serious disrepair, but was completely renovated in 1985 and now, restored to its former opulence, is a great place for press conferences. This NYTimes article is a great description of the restoration and the kind of place that this building is.

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US Treasury, “About: US Treasury Cash Room

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Comments
2 Responses to “US Treasury Cash Room”
  1. dem says:

    Who was telling us about a “currency museum” (for lack of a better phrase; I don’t think that’s actually what it’s called) in D.C., I thought affiliated with the Treasury Dept.?

    If we can figure out what that is, I think it should go on the field trip list!

    Oh, also on that list is the bar in D.C. Where beer prices fluctuate with demand and people will intentionally manipulate prices by flooding the market with orders, spread rumors about a particular ale being not so good so the price will drop before their next round, etc. and if people don’t really do those things there, WE should do them when we visit!

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