HistoryThe island of Manhattan was occupied by British colonists in the early 18th century. As one of the busiest ports in the New World, New York was an ideal location for international commerce. British and other European merchants established a slave market in a bustling section of Wall Street. The Common Council legislation legalized the trade of slaves in this rapidly growing city. After running for just more than 50 years, the slave market at the corner of Wall Street and Water Street closed permanently. However, most of the former slaves didn't enjoy complete freedom as they had limited economic opportunities. In fact, approximately 20% of New York City's residents in the late 1700's were slaves. New York officially outlawed slavery in the 1820's, and the local economy was significantly transformed. The abolition of slavery eventually opened many job opportunities for European immigrants in the middle of the 19th century. Mannahatta Park was created as a historical marker for the municipal slave market of the 1700's. The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation also established this public space as part of an effort to create a greener Lower Manhattan. With some generous donations from the Wall Street-based Deutsche Bank, Mannahatta Park received a beautiful glass fountain with a nautical motif that's inspired by the local geography and history. Click to book your New York City Slavery and Underground Railroad walking tour.
Features and SightseeingMannahatta Park has a contemporary landscape design that blends in nicely with the modern architecture of the surrounding skyscrapers. This green space is lined with comfortable benches that provide great resting spots for passers-by and local workers from the Financial District. Stock brokers, bankers and other professionals typically spend their lunch time in this beautiful urban space. Native and exotic plants, shrubs and trees have been carefully integrated into Mannahatta Park to beautify the area that's mostly dominated by concrete, glass and steel. The eastern tip of the park offers some views of the East River and the skyline of Brooklyn. Additionally, this public square offers great perspectives of high-rise properties that dominate the scene on Wall Street and the adjacent thoroughfares. An educational plaque about New York's municipal slave market is installed in the heart of Mannahatta Park.
Visiting Mannahatta ParkMannahatta Park occupies a small paved plaza at the corner of Wall Street and Water Street in the heart of the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. The larger section of the park is situated between Front Street and South Street. This intimate public space is squeezed in between modern skyscrapers that mostly include corporate offices or luxurious residential properties. Getting to Mannahatta Park is easy via the New York City Subway. Wall Street has several underground stations that are conveniently located within walking distance of the green space. For example, the 2 and 3 trains stop near the Museum of American Finance. You can also take the J and Z lines to the stop on Broad Street near the New York Stock Exchange. Numerous buses that are operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) drop off and pick up passengers on Water Street, which intersects Mannahatta Park. Additionally, this historic marker is just a few steps away from Pier 11/Wall Street. Situated on the East River, the terminal is serviced by the NYC Ferry. Commuter ferries from Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey stop at this busy riverfront station.
Location: the corner of Wall Street and Water Street, Lower Manhattan, New York, NY
Click here to visit Mannahatta Park official website.
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