Wall Street/Financial District



Location: Wall Street runs less than a mile from Broadway to the East River along what was originally the northern edge of New Amsterdam. The street itself became famous when the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street became the site of the New York Stock Exchange. Today, Wall Street is synonymous with high finance.

Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bus: M1, M6, M15
Subway: 2 3 4 5 to Wall St, J M Z to Broad St,
R W to Rector St.

wall-streetHistory: In 1792, 24 brokers who traded stocks and bonds under a buttonwood tree at Wall Street and Williams Street, signed an agreement to  deal only with one another, forming the basis of the New York Stock Exchange. Membership was strictly limited. In 1817, a “seat” cost $25, today it costs millions of dollars and a rigorous test of suitability is required. The NYSE has weathered slumps (bear markets) and booms (bull markets), and has seen advances in technology, from tickertape to microchip, turn a local marketplace into a global one.

3 Most Important Buildings

  • New York Stock Exchange The NYSE is the world’s leading and most technologically advanced equities market. A broad spectrum of market participants, including listed companies, individual investors, institutional investors and member firms, create the NYSE market. Buyers and sellers meet directly in a fair, open and orderly market to access the best possible price through the interplay of supply and demand. On an average day, 1.46 billion shares, valued at $46.1 billion, trade on the NYSE
  • Trinity Church When the present Trinity Church was consecrated on Ascension Day May 1, 1846, its soaring Neo-Gothic spire dominated the skyline of lower Manhattan. Since its founding by charter of King William III of England in 1697, the Parish of Trinity Church has played a pivotal role in the religious life of this city and nation. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Trinity offered special ministries to meet the needs and hopes of successive waves of immigrants who poured into New York. The original burial ground at Trinity Church includes the graves and memorials of many historic figures, including Alexander Hamilton, William Bradford, Robert Fulton, and Albert Gallatin.
  • Federal Hall National Memorial 26 Wall Street was the site of New York City’s 18th century City Hall. Here John Peter Zenger was jailed, tried, and acquitted of libel for exposing government corruption in his newspaper, an early victory for freedom of the press. The First Congress met in Federal Hall, and wrote the Bill of Rights, and George Washington was inaugurated here as President on April 30, 1789. The current structure on the site was built as the Customs House, opening in 1842. In 1862, the building became the U. S. Sub-Treasury. Millions of dollars of gold and silver were kept in the basement vaults until the Federal Reserve Bank replaced the Sub-Treasury system in 1920. PLEASE NOTE: Federal Hall National Memorial is currently closed to the public for an extensive rehabilitation. For further information, call the office of the superintendent at 1(212) 825-6990.

Guided Tours:
Wall Street Walking Tour Thursdays and Saturdays Noon – 1:30pm Free 90-minute guided walking tour, weaves together the history, events, architecture and people of the dynamic neighborhood Downtown, the birthplace of New York, the financial capital of the world, and the most resilient neighborhood in America. The tour leaves from the steps of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, located on the southern tip of Manhattan at One Bowling Green.

Trinity Church Walking Tour Thursdays and Saturdays at noon Visit the graves of Alexander Hamilton, William Bradford, and other historical figures as you roam through Trinity Churchyard. The tour also stops by the Church Museum where you can view art and artifacts dating back to the 1600s.
Thursdays and Saturdays at noon; tour lasts 15 to 20 minutes
Broadway and Wall Sts; 1(212)602-0800; trinitywallstreet.org

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Itching for an insider’s peek at the world’s richest bank? The Fed’s free tour will take you five stories underground into their gold vaults, demystify how the Bank functions, and let you test your new knowledge at Fedworks, an interactive, multimedia center. You’ll even pocket some (shredded) money at the tour’s end. Call to make a reservation at least a week in advance and don’t be late as security procedures are lengthy.
Monday through Friday, 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm; tour lasts one hour. 33 Liberty St.; 1(212)720-6130; or visit: newyorkfed.org

Nearby Places of Interest:
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
World Trade Center Site (Ground Zero)
World Financial Center
Bowling Green
US Custom House (National Museum of the American Indian)
Fraunces Tavern Museum
Staten Island Ferry
Battery Park
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
South Street Seaport

Advisory: Allow a minimum of 30 minutes for photographs. Climb to top of steps at Federal Hall for best view of New York Stock Exchange facade. Most famous view of Trinity Church steeple is looking west along Wall Street. The Wall Street area is most crowded on weekdays during morning and afternoon rush hours and lunchtime. It’s almost deserted (except for tourists) on weekends.

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