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Walking Down Wall Street


1 of 10

Symbols of Wealth and Power in New York's Financial District
Green roof of 40 Wall Street seen in the distance between 4 WTC and Cass Gilbert's West St. Bldg.

Looking east toward Wall Street from WTC construction site, 2013

Photo © S. Carroll Jewell / Jackie Craven

Wall Street Fast Facts

  • Lower Manhattan, about 4 1/2 miles south of Times Square in New York City
  • Architecture from the early 20th century construction boom
  • Half-mile in length, from Broadway to the East River
  • Marked the northern most point of 17th century New Amsterdam and may have had an actual wall to protect the settlement from unknowns further north.
  • Area was settled by French-speaking people from southern Netherlands, a region called Walloonia. Walloons are known to have settled in lower Manhattan and up the Hudson River valley.

What Is Wall Street?

Wall Street is one of the oldest streets in the city. In the early 1600s, trading flourished in this land of many ports. Ships and merchants imported and exported the goods of the day. Trading was a common activity. However, Wall Street is more than a street and buildings. Early in its history, Wall Street became a symbol of commerce and capitalism in the New World and the young United States. Today, Wall Street continues to represent wealth, prosperity, and, to some, greed.

Where Is Wall Street?

Wall Street can be found just southeast of where terrorists struck New York City on September 11, 2001. Look beyond the construction site, past the Fumihiko Maki-designed 4 World Trade Center to the left and Cass Gilbert's Gothic West Street Building to the right, and you will see the seven-story green pyramidal roof and spire atop Donald Trump's 40 Wall Street. Continue down Wall Street and you will discover architecture that tells the story of a nation being built—literally and figuratively.

In the next few pages we'll look at some of the interesting and important buildings on Wall Street.

Begin the Tour: 1 Wall Street >


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