Walk 3: Wall Street

Wall Street is an east/west Street at the northern edge of 'olde New Amsterdam', named for a wooden wall built to keep the British out. The planks were quickly transformed into the structure of brick row houses which lined Wall Street when it became the prime residential boulevard in the 18th and early 19th century. The thriving commerce of the post-Erie Canal port placed too much business activity on Wall Street so that the lower floors of the rowhouses were converted into commercial businesses with stores, exchanges and banking institutions facing the street. In the 1830s, the row houses were replace with banks, commercial structures and the U.S. Customs House. From then on, buildings on Wall Street climbed higher as larger and larger buildings rose along the street. The need for a business district that was totally accessible by foot made Wall Street the site for the rise of the first New York skyscrapers. The sensation of the very tall buildings crowded onto the much earlier narrow streets led to a sense of the pedestrian being down a well. The 1915 completion of the new Equitable Life Insurance Building will lead to the 1916 New York City Zoning Resolution. Ironically, residential units are now being placed in the upper floors of some of the buildings on Wall Street.

Trinity Church, Richard Upjohn [1846]
Equitable Building, 120 Broadway, Ernest Graham of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White [1915]
American Surety Company (now Bank of Tokyo), 100 Broadway, Bruce Price [1895]
Irving Trust Company (now Bank of New York), 1 Wall Street, Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker [1931]
Federal Hall National Monument, 28 Wall Street, Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis (interior by John Frazee and Samuel Thompson) [1833-42]
New York Stock Exchange, 8 Broad Street, George B. Post [1903]
Merchants' Exchange (now Citibank), 55 Wall Street, Isaiah Rogers [three stories, 1836-42], McKim, Mead and White [addition, 1907]
Chase Manhattan Plaza, One Chase Manhattan Plaza, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill [1960]
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 33 Liberty Street, York and Sawyer (ironwork by Samuel Yellin) [1935]


Related links:
- The history of Trinity Church a timeline, from 1696 to the present at the Trinity Church web site
-Federal Hall Site by the National Park Foundation

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