The Financial District and Historic Lower Manhattan
New York City is the financial capital of the United States and quite possibly the world. There is nothing more iconic or symbolic of this than the city’s Financial District than Wall St. Join us on a private tour as CityWalksNY guides peel away the mysteries surrounding this historic and fundamentally important part of New York City.
*** This is an Example of the types of tours we offer. ALL of our tours are private and customized to your specifications. ***
The Street, The Wall, The Legend
Of course, we’re talking about Wall Street, so named because it is the site of a wall that was built here in 1653. That wall wasn’t built by New Yorkers however, because in 1653 the southern tip of Manhattan Island was not New York but the Dutch trading colony of New Amsterdam. The wall was the northern boundary of the city. In 1664 the English showed up with their fleet, looking for a fight. On their ships, they had a gun for every building in New Amsterdam. And so the Dutch surrendered and New Amsterdam became New York without a shot being fired. Eventually the wall came down but the street that had run parallel to it retained the name; Wall Street.
New York has long been a hub of trade in North America, serving as one of the first ports of the young nation. Wall Street was an active trading location from its earliest days due to its proximity to the piers where goods and raw material were imported & exported. One of the imported resources found on Wall Street in the early 18th century were slaves. In 1711 the New York Common Council made the corner of Wall Street and Pearl Street the city’s official slave market.
The Rise of an Empire
The concentration of fortunes, personal and business in New York City have been dependent on the markets.. In the late 18th century, under a buttonwood tree at the foot of Wall Street, a group of traders would meet and transact business together. In 1792 they signed “The Buttonwood Agreement” which stipulated that they would henceforth trade only with one another, and the New York Stock Exchange was born. Today it is one of the oldest and best known. The New York Stock Exchange is also the largest exchange in the world by market capitalization.
Wall Street, though synonymous with the financial industry, is also very important in American History. New York was the first capital city of the United States after our Constitution was ratified. Wall Street is where the first U.S. Congress met, where the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution, and it is where George Washington took the oath of office as the First President of the United States in 1789. In fact, it’s where many of our founding fathers both lived and worked!
Built from the Ground UP!
New York has seen many dark days in it’s storied history, none more so than the attacks of 9/11.. As part of CityWalksNY’s Wall Street and Financial District tour we’ll visit the 911 Memorial; “Reflecting Absence.” Your CityWalksNY guide will offer you an interpretation of the memorial and tell you stories of that day and all the heroic acts that transpired amidst the tragedy. They may offer some of their own personal history of the day as well.
World Trade Center site is no longer referred to as Ground Zero because it is no longer a site of devastation and destruction, but one of rebirth, revitalization and remembrance. A new World Trade Center is rising. The plans are for five new towers on the site, surrounding the 911 Memorial in a symbolic display of protection. As of January 2017, three of those towers have been completed. Number One World Trade Center was finished in 2014. It’s nickname is Freedom Tower because it rises to a height of 1,776 feet; 1776 being the year America declared its independence from Great Britain!
A City of Hope
The island of Manhattan has a rich history, one that we will explore in depth with the knowledgeable guides from CityWalksNY. As we make our way south we will explore symbols of this steadfast and proud city that has once again risen from tragedy to shine ever brighter as a beacon of hope. On CityWalksNY Wall Street Financial District private tour you’ll see One World Trade, as well as The Oculus, St. Paul’s Chapel, the Wall Street Bull and many other iconic sights of New York City!