Permits

General Information

A Special Park Use permit is required for any activity that provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than to the park or the public at large. Many of the events that require permits also require some degree of oversight from National Park Service staff.

Ranger Lead Talk Reservations

Join us for a talk about Federal Hall, discussing in brief its history and story in relation to American history. Click here you would like to make a reservation. Reservations are not required to visit the site, only if you are interested in a 30 minute guided experince of Federal Hall National Memorial.

 

Special Park Use Permitted Activities

 For questions or further information about special use and/or short term leasing, contact the Business Management Program at masi_special_park_use@nps.gov

Below are the instructions and requirements for obtaining permission for the use of federal space for Special Events, First Amendment, Filming, or Still Photography. It is the policy of the National Park Service – Manhattan Sites ("the park") to allow special events, filming and photography as appropriate and as staffing and management resources permits, while adhering to the National Park Service mandate "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (54 U.S.C. 10010 1) In order to manage special events, filming, and photography, a permit issued by the superintendent is required.

Instructions:

You will need to submit a completed application and a $50.00 non-refundable application processing fee (Except for non-low impact filming and First Amendment activities). Fees can be paid via check, money order or credit card. Please make check or money orders out to the National Park Service. The permit application must be emailed to masi_special_park_use@nps.gov or sent by mail to

National Park Service
Attention: Business Management Program
26 Wall Street,
New York, NY 10005

NOTE: The non-refundable $50.00 application processing fee must accompany the completed signed application. Applications must be submitted no later than 14 business days before the event.

If a Certificate of Insurance is required, please ensure that the National Park Service is listed as addionally insured. Here's a sample Certificate of Insurance.

Mask Wearing Requirements

In alignment with the February 28, 2022 implementation guidance released by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, the following actions are directed based on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county where a Federal facility is located:

  • When the Community Level is LOW: Individuals ARE NOT REQUIRED to wear masks in the facility regardless of vaccination status AND Bureaus/Offices DO NOT need to implement general screening testing program requirements.*
  • When the Community Level is MEDIUM: Individuals ARE NOT REQUIRED to wear masks in the facility regardless of vaccination status.
  • When the Community Level is HIGH: Individuals ARE REQUIRED to wear masks in the facility regardless of vaccination status.
  • Individuals can wear a mask if they choose regardless of COVID-19 Community Level and that they feel comfortable doing so.

Safety Plan

A safety plan based on New York Forward requirements must be submitted as part of the application package for events with more than 50 participants.

First Amendment Activities

Please note that the permit application processing fee is NOT required if the requested activity is an exercise of your First Amendment right. Please allow at least two business days for the application process.

First Amendment Activity with Sound Amplification

If your request for the first amendment activity has the component of sound amplification; then a $50.00 processing fee is required with the application and you must obtain a New York Police Department sound permit and submit a copy of the sound permit. Requirements (after receiving approval of your permit application activity from the park representative) If your application is approved; permit conditions will be sent to you for review and a walk through will be required prior to the release of the permit. A permit will be issued and your signature will be required on the permit.

We encourage citizens to exercise rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect the public and park resources. Therefore, such First Amendment activities involving over 25 participants require Special Use Permits, and National Park Service staff may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. Some examples are:

  • distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • religious services
  • public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.
  • collecting signatures for petitions
Applications: 

African Burial Ground National Monument Application

Castle Clinton National Monument Application

Federal Hall National Memorial Application

General Grant National Memorial Application

Governors Island National Monument Application

Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application

Stonewall National Monument Application

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application

Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land

On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5.5 are unconstitutional. In response to the decision, the National Park Service issued interim guidance on February 22, 2021, to manage filming activities. Under the interim guidance, filming activities may require a permit if they would impact park resources or the visitor experience. The National Park Service intends to update regulations addressing filming activities that are consistent with the outcome of Price v. Barr. Once effective, those regulations will replace and supersede the interim guidance.

Those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.

Do I need a permit to film?

Under the interim guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activities may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities.

Low-Impact Filming

“Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.

Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

Non-Low-Impact Filming

Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

  • maintain public health and safety;

  • protect environmental or scenic values;

  • protect natural or cultural resources;

  • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or

  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.

Contact the park directly if unsure whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.

Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?

Under the interim guidance issued on January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is not collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming activities.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.

  2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if [the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.

  3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action. Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

To request permission to film please apply by submitting a Special Park Use Permit for the corresponding park site.

Instructions for Submitting a Special Park Use Permit Application 
 

Special Park Use Applications:


African Burial Ground National Monument Application

Castle Clinton National Monument Application

Federal Hall National Memorial Application

General Grant National Memorial Application

Governors Island National Monument Application

Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application

Stonewall National Monument Application

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application



Sample Certificate of Insurance

When is a permit needed?

Still photographers require a permit only when:

  1. the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  2. the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  3. a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

How do I apply for a permit?

You should submit a completed application along with the application fee to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.
 

What fees will I have to pay?

The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.

In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:

  • 1–10 people - $50/day
  • 11–30 people - $150/day
  • Over 30 people - $250/day

Are there other permit requirements?

You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.

Still Photography Permit Applications:


African Burial Ground National Monument Application (Long Form)
African Burial Ground National Monument Application (Short Form)

Castle Clinton National Monument Application (Long Form)
Castle Clinton National Monument Application (Short Form)

Federal Hall National Memorial Application (Long Form)
Federal Hall National Memorial Application (Short Form)

General Grant National Memorial Application (Long Form)
General Grant National Memorial Application (Short Form)

Governors Island National Monument Application (Long Form)
Governors Island National Monument Application  (Short Form)

Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application (Long Form)
Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application  (Short Form)

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application (Long Form)
Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application (Short Form)

Stonewall National Monument Application (Long Form)
Stonewall National Monument Application (Short Form)

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application (Long Form)
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application (Short Form)


Sample Certificate of Insurance

What about photography workshops?

If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.

A special event is a short-term activity that takes place in a park area and:
• Provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large;
• Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the NPSin order to protect park resources and the public interest;
• Is not prohibited by law or regulation.
• Is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the NPS 

We recommend that you visit the park before submitting your application. If you have any questions about an event or activity, please email masi_special_park_use@nps.gov

 

Special Park Use Applications:


African Burial Ground National Monument Application

Castle Clinton National Monument Application

Federal Hall National Memorial Application

General Grant National Memorial Application

Governors Island National Monument Application

Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application

Stonewall National Monument Application

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application

Art has been part of the history of national parks since the 1870s when Hudson River School painters captured majestic Western landscapes. Through their awe-inspiring works, the public came to see these special places in America for the first time. The works captured their imaginations, spurring them to preserve these lands for future generations. Today art continues to thrive in our national parks, and we encourage anyone interested in displaying art at any of the nine Manhattan Sites to read the following information:

Conditions for artwork display:

Artwork will be reviewed by exhibit committee before being temporarily installed. The following conditions must be met:

The artwork…

  • will be designed and sited to avoid disturbing cultural and natural resources;
  • will be located in relevant surroundings;
  • will be constructed of suitable materials compatible with the local environment;
  • meets NPS design and maintenance standards;
  • won’t encroach on other preexisting works or be aesthetically intrusive;
  • won’t interfere with open space and existing public use;
  • won’t divert from the park’s primary interpretive theme; and
  • won’t be affixed to the historic fabric of a structure.

Furthermore, the

  • Artist must be insured or bonded.
  • Artwork must not lead to any derogation of park values, natural, or cultural resources. Art & artwork must abide by all NPS laws and regulations.
  • Artwork must be installed in an accessible manner for all members of the public. If artist wishes to prevent public from interacting with artwork, they will provide appropriate equipment and signage.
  • Artist will provide signage or other supporting educational material that helps facilitate viewers’ understanding of the artwork when the artist isn’t present.
  • Artwork displays will occur on site and will be temporary in nature. Artwork will only be displayed in a location mutually agreed upon between artist and NPS staff, based on the artwork having minimal/no impact on the site’s natural and cultural resources or derogation of park values.
  • Artwork must be appropriate for general audiences including but not limited to: children, and individuals of varying ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, language and physical abilities.
  • Artwork is subject to all applicable National Park Service rules and regulations including but not limited to the Superintendent’s Compendium.

Please note…

  • The National Park Service is not responsible for any stage in the process of artwork display apart from issuing a special park use permit. This includes, but is not limited to: installation, deinstallation, and display maintenance.
  • At NPS discretion, the artwork may be displayed at any one of 9 Manhattan Sites based on considerations such as space availability, and accessibility. While artists retain copyright of donated artwork, they are asked to grant permission to the NPS, without restriction, use and public display of the artwork (including on NPS websites and social media channels) for the purposes of interpretation, exhibits, and education.
  • Application submittal does not guarantee approval. Artwork proposals are eligible for resubmission if the first proposal is not accepted. NPS staff will collaborate with artist(s) to address any concerns, and recommend appropriate alternatives for consideration, after which artists may amend and re-submit their proposals.

Frequently Asked Questions for Artist

When will I be notified about the result of my application? 

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis by a committee. Application results will be sent out no more than 2 weeks after initial receipt of application. Applications should be submitted at least a month ahead of the intended exhibition date to accommodate the period for review.

Is there an application fee? 

There is a $50 non-refundable application fee, as well as potential cost-recovery fees required for park staff time dedicated to support of the project. The NPS will work with artist to determine these costs following approval and prior to implementation.

Does our project need a permit? 

Yes. A special Park Use permit will be issued in accordance with all NPS laws, policies, and procedures.

Can there be a charge for admission and/or private viewings of the project? 

No. All artwork/exhibit installations will be viewable to the public free of charge.

Does the project need to reference topics specifically related to Manhattan Sites? 

Yes, we encourage site-specific projects that add to visitors' experience, understanding or connection to Manhattan Sites’ unique and important park sites. Artists are encouraged to review the Sites’ Foundation Documents and incorporate the site’s purpose or interpretive theme into their project.

Are projects required to have associated events, programming, or marketing? 

Associated events and programming that enhance the visitor experience and understanding of the project are encouraged but are not required. The NPS may raise public awareness of the art installation through its websites and social media platforms.

What if this project requires special maintenance? 

Artists and/or organizations with approved projects are expected to produce a basic plan for anynecessary operations or maintenance during the project term. Costs associated with specialmaintenance, installation and de-installation are the sole responsibility of the artist and/ororganization. Maintenance plans may request the assistance of park staff, but are subject tocosts and staff availability.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions? 

General questions about the program and application process should be emailed to masi_special_park_use@nps.gov

Application process

Please fill out the appropriate site’s special use permit application. Applications must include a description of the proposed project in the “description of proposed activity” box, including the following details:

  • Project name

  • Images and specifics about proposed artwork pieces (weight, dimensions, materials etc.)

  • How the project will engage visitors and enhance their experience and understanding of the site's history by highlighting, or drawing attention to, unique aspects of the site and/or its history as reflected in the site’s interpretive themes or the park’s purpose (as outlined in Foundation Documents below).

Submit the appropriate special use application form (see "Site Specific Applications" below) to e-mail us. Accompanying the application form, applicants must submit a $50 application fee via cash, check or credit card. Upon receipt of application and fee, a panel of NPS management and exhibit committee members will review artwork based on the following:

  • Community involvement opportunities, either in the creation or enjoyment of the work.

  • Project relevance: Projects should engage visitors or enhance their experience and understanding of the site's history by highlighting, or drawing attention to, unique aspects of the site and/or its history as reflected in the site’s interpretive themes or the park’s purpose (located within "Foundation Documents" section below).

  • Appropriateness for National Park setting with minimal or no impact on visitor access during installation and de-installation.

  • Artwork meets the following requirements: Artwork….

    • will be designed and sited to avoid disturbing cultural and natural resources;

    • will be located in relevant surroundings

    • will be constructed of suitable materials compatible with the local environment;

    • meets NPS design and maintenance standards;

    • won’t encroach on other preexisting works or be aesthetically intrusive

    • won’t interfere with open space and existing public use;

    • won’t divert from the park’s primary interpretive theme; and

    • won’t be affixed to the historic fabric of a structure.

  • Applications will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Application submittal does not guarantee approval. Artwork proposals are eligible for resubmission if the first proposal is not accepted: NPS staff will collaborate with artist(s) to address any concerns, and recommend appropriate alternatives for consideration, after which artists may amend and re-submit their proposals.

Foundation Documents

Governors Island
Castle Clinton
Federal Hall
African Burial Ground
Stonewall 
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace
General Grant Hamilton Grange

St. Paul’s Church

Special Park Use Applications

African Burial Ground National Monument Application

Castle Clinton National Monument Application

Federal Hall National Memorial Application

General Grant National Memorial Application

Governors Island National Monument Application

Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application

Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application

Stonewall National Monument Application

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application

 

Further Information and to Contact Us

For more information regarding special uses, commercial filming, and/or short term leasing at Federal Hall National Memorial, contact the Special Use Permits Coordinator at (646) 476-0882.

Inquiries can also be made via email by clicking here.

Last updated: May 17, 2022

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