Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange

by NYJ Team

Wall Street, a narrow street in lower Manhattan between Broadway and the East River, was the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the one-time headquarters for all of the major banks and brokerage houses in the United States. Although, all of the brokerages have moved elsewhere – to other quarters in New York’s financial district, New Jersey, and Connecticut – the term, “Wall Street” is still synonymous with the US financial markets.

Wall Street

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History

Wall Street got its name in the 17th century, when it was the northern boundary of the original Dutch “New Amsterdam” settlement on Manhattan. There actually was, at one time, a wall on Wall Street. Wall Street and the surrounding New York financial district grew up around the New York Stock Exchange. At one time, virtually all of the US banks and brokerages were based in this small area. At the height of the “Gilded Age” in the late 19th and early 20th century, the area was known as the “House of Morgan”, referring to JP Morgan, the country’s largest bank and financier.

The attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, has had the effect of speeding the exodus of companies from the concentrated financial district. Banks and brokerage headquarters can now be found all throughout suburban New York City.

New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange, located at 11 Wall Street, is the largest stock exchange in the world. Its global capitalization is roughly 20 trillion dollars. The NYSE traces its history back to an event 1792, when 24 brokers and bankers signed the “Buttonwood Agreement”, named for a buttonwood tree that stood at the end of Wall Street. This agreement set into motion the creation of the system of buying and selling stocks that became the NYSE. Unlike the high-tech NASDAQ marketplace, at Times Square, the NYSE today operates much as it did 100 years ago, in an auction format with buyers and sellers’ agents meeting and deciding on a price right on the exchange’s trading floor.

Visiting Wall Street and the NYSE

Wall Street and the New York Financial District make a nice New York walking tour. The area is easily accessible from all parts of the city via subway, bus, and taxi.

Also within the financial district, at the corner of Wall St. and Nassau St., is Federal Hall National Memorial, the home of the first United States capital and the site of George Washington’s Presidential inauguration. Continuing along Wall Street to the East River, you come to South Street Seaport, a favorite of residents and visitors alike. This historic area was once the site of the Fulton fish market where the New York fishing fleet returned from their day in the harbor and sold their wares. Today, it is a combination shopping mall, museum, and entertainment complex, with spectacular views and a fleet of historic sailing ships.

Also not far from the financial district, at the tip of Manhattan, is Battery Park, a 32-acre waterfront, mixed-use park, which offers spectacular views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

A visit to Wall Street and the New York financial district is an interesting diversion from New York museums and shopping. The area’s imposing facades and rich history, capped with the spectacular views from the tip of Manhattan made a trip to Wall Street a must for any New York sightseeing trip.

Location: at 11 Wall Street, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-656-3000

Click to visit New York Stock Exchange official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

Union Square Park | Historic, Vibrant and… a Foodie Destination

by NYJ Team

This vibrant and historic urban park is the perfect place to people watch in New York City. Located at the intersection of Broadway and 4th Avenue, Union Square Park was the site of the first Labour Day parade in 1882. It also houses the flagship location of the popular Greenmarket Farmers Market, a state-of-the-art children’s playground and a majestic bronze sculpture of George Washington.

Union Square Park

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Things to Do at Union Square Park

From art vendors to street entertainers to the occasional protest, there are plenty of interesting things to do and see in Union Square Park. Friends can congregate by the James Fountain and kids can play at the 15,000 square-foot playground which features a mini-mountain and rubber-tiled floor to protect little knees from scrapes.

Union Square Park is a popular destination for foodies- it is home to the flagship location of the world-famous Greenmarket Farmers Market. Situated at the north end of the park, the Union Square Greenmarket attracts thousands of visitors all year round eager to shop for fresh, locally grown produce, heritage meats and artisan breads and cheeses.

Union Square Park is also a perfect place to relax and do nothing at all. There are lots of benches to perch and people watch or grassy spots to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch.

A Historic Public Space

Union Square Park opened in 1839 and quickly became a bustling town square and one of New York’s most popular public spaces to meet. Centrally located in Manhattan, Union Square was named for its location at the “union” of Bloomingdale and Bowery Roads which is known today as Broadway and 4th Avenue.

Union Square has a history of being a hub of political and social activism and was the site of many workers’ rallies in the 1930’s. It has served as a place for people to gather for political demonstrations, labor protests and community events.

A crowd of 10,000 workers gathered in Union Square for the first Labor Day parade on September 5th, 1882. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1884 and Union Square’s role in American labor history led to its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

Statues in Union Square Park

Union Square Park is one of the most popular places for New York City locals to meet up at and one of the highlights of the park is its collection of majestic statues. They not only honor important historical figures, but they also are a great way to find someone – “meet me by Abraham Lincoln!” In addition to a statue of America’s 16th president, Union Square Park features sculptures of the Marquis de Lafayette (created by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty) and Mohandas Gandhi.

Visitors should be sure to seek out the spectacular equestrian statue of the first president of the United States, George Washington. Located at the south end of the park, this bronze work is the oldest sculpture in the New York City Parks collection.

Where Is Union Square Park in New York City?

Union Square Park runs from East 14th Street to East 17th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway.

For more information on Union Square Park including maps of the area and directions call 212-New-York or visit Union Square Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

Trinity Church | Established in 1698 | A National Historic Landmark

by NYJ Team

Trinity Church, located at Broadway and Wall Street in lower Manhattan, is an active Episcopal parish with a long history. The third church to be built on the site, Trinity Church has been a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor as well as to area residents since it was established in 1698.

Trinity Church

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History

The original Trinity Church was built in 1698. At the time, it was one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan (hard to believe today) and the church’s spire acted as a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor. In 1709, the church began a charity school, whose first classes were held in the steeple of the church, and in 1754, a school of higher education, King’s College, was added. That school continues today as Columbia University.

The first Trinity Church was destroyed by a massive fire in 1776 that razed over 500 buildings in lower Manhattan. The second Trinity Church was completed in 1790 and counted George Washington among its parishioners. The second church was hastily constructed, however, and suffered extensive damage in a 1838 snowstorm. It was torn down in 1839.

The present Trinity Church was completed in 1846, designed by Richard Upjohn in the popular Gothic Revival style. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Trinity continues to be an active, vibrant parish.

St. Paul’s Chapel, a nearby part of Trinity Church is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. Miraculously, the chapel, located across from the World Trade Center site, escaped damage during the 9/11 attacks and served as a community shelter and source of inspiration for thousands of New Yorkers during that difficult time.

Trinity Church is affiliated with three historic burial sites. The burial ground at Wall Street and Broadway is the final resting place for Alexander Hamilton and his wife, inventor Robert Fulton, printer William Bradford, and several members of the Continental Congress. The Church also maintains a cemetery at Riverside Drive and e.155th St., on the former estate of James Audubon. Mr. Audubon is buried there as well as several members of the Astor family, including John Jacob Astor IV who died on the “Titanic,” and Clement Clarke Moore, the author of “The Night Before Christmas.” The third is connected to St. Paul’s Chapel and is home to many historic, pre-Revolutionary War graves.

Community Outreach

In addition to its school, Trinity Church operates a preschool and day care center; the John Heuss Center, a 24-hour drop-in center for homeless, mentally ill, and mentally-frail residents; and St. Margaret’s House, an apartment-style complex for elderly and mobility impaired residents.

Music at Trinity

Music is an important part of the ministry at Trinity Church. The church’s “Concerts at One,” held since 1962, have become a tradition in the financial district. In addition, Trinity’s Sunday service and musical selections are broadcast on New York’s WQXR 96.3 FM each week.

Visiting Trinity Church

Trinity Church welcomes visitors of all denominations. The church is within an easy walk of New York’s Financial District as well as other sites in lower Manhattan, including South Street Seaport. The church can also be easily reached via bus, subway, or taxi.

Trinity Church holds several worship services daily including at least one Eucharist service. Free tours of Trinity Church are offered each day at 2pm. Visitors may also explore the adjoining museum, which houses exhibits about the church’s long and illustrious history. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 11:45am and from 1pm to 3:45pm. Weekend hours are Saturday from 10am to 3:45pm and Sunday from 1pm to 3:45pm. The museum, too, is free.

Location: 74 Trinity Place, New York, New York
Phone: 212 602-0800

Click to visit Trinity Church official website.