A trip to NYC would not have been complete without seeing Wall Street. I am afterall a postgraduate business student so I got on the subway and headed downtown. Wall Street runs east from Broadway and continues downhill to the East River. The photo below shows the sign post which stands on Broadway near the Trinity Church (often seen in movies such as Die Hard III and National Treasure). It was a lovely day but the height of the surrounding buildings meant that the sidewalk was in shade. Still I felt I had to include this pic as apparently this signpost is one of the most photographed in the world!
Here comes the history bit - The name 'Wall Street' derives from the fact that during the 17th Century, it formed the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement. The stockade was built on behalf of the West India Company by Peter Stuyvesant. This was further strengthened by the time war had developed with the English to a 12 foot wall of timber and earth fortified by palisades. The wall was created, and strengthened over time, as a defense against attack from various Indian tribes, New England colonists and the British. In 1685 surveyors laid out Wall Street along the lines of the original stockade and the wall was dismantled by the British in 1699 leaving the street running along the course it does today.
Wall Street is of course famous for being the heart of the Financial District and the photo above is of the New York Stock Exchange. In the late 18th century, there was a tree at the foot of Wall Street under which traders and speculators would gather to trade informally. In 1792, the traders formalised their association with the Buttonwood Agreement which was named after the type of tree they met under. The photo above was taken looking across from Federal Hall and in the foreground you can see the steam rising through one of the covers in the road - a common sight in NYC! Below is a close up of the wonderful carvings that are above the columns of the Stock Exchange.
Federal Hall is also sited on Wall Street and below is the statue of George Washington that stands outside it. Of course, Federal Hall is the site where George Washinton took his oath as the first President of America in 1789.
Of course I couldn't do a post about Wall Street without showing you a photo of the Bull. This isn't actually on Wall Street but stands on Broadway just a little way from Wall Street, towards Bowling Green. The is also a very nice little diner nearby where I had a great lunch. As I ventured further down Broadway towards Bowling Green the wide opened up, allowing the sun to reach the sidewalk and defrosting my fingers as I can't take photos with gloves on - how I suffer for my art! :-)
This last photo (below) is of Bowling Green looking back up Broadway. Bowling Green is the oldest park in NYC and was made by the British who played bowls there (hence the name). After this I continued my explorations and headed towards Battery Park but that is another tale...