Financial District & Wall Street NYC Travel Guide
Covering the southern tip of Manhattan, the Financial District is home to Wall Street and the World Trade Center. For generations, this historic neighborhood has kept America’s economy running at full force. From the New York Stock Exchange to One World Trade Center, there are plenty of iconic landmarks in this important district that’s rich in business culture and architecture. The New York Harbor and East River partially mark the boundaries of this busy part of the Big Apple. Click to book your Wall Street & Financial District walking tour.
Having an architectural height of 1,776 feet, One World Trade Center dominates the skyline of the Financial District. Offering more than 13.4 million square feet of space for commercial use, this contemporary skyscraper also has an observation level with 360-degree views of Manhattan.
Additionally, 3 World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center highlight the recent revival of the Financial District. All of these buildings replaced the original Twin Towers that came down during the September 11 Attacks.
One of the oldest skyscrapers in the neighborhood is 40 Wall Street, which was built in 1930 in the Art Deco style. The corner of Wall Street and Broadway is overshadowed by several other magnificent skyscrapers that host office workers and add aesthetic appeal to the district.
The Museum of American Finance is the perfect place to begin your tour of the Financial District in Manhattan. As the name suggests, this attraction on Wall Street covers an array of topics on banking and finances of the United States. A large portion of the museum is dedicated to Alexander Hamilton, who was arguably the most important figure in the nation’s early financial network.
You don’t have to walk far from the museum to find Federal Hall, which presents the rich history of the Financial District and other parts of Manhattan. George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States in this building that has a distinct Greek Revival Facade. A bronze statue of this charismatic leader stands in the footsteps of the property.
Open for public tours, the New York Stock Exchange is another major landmark that defines the legendary scene on Wall Street.
26 Wall Street (between Broad and Nassau Streets in Manhattan’s Financial District) New York, NY, 10005
The tall columns fronting Federal Hall and the majestic statue of George Washington located on its steps are an iconic sight on Wall Street. Built on the site of New York’s first City Hall and located across from the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Hall National Memorial is both an American history museum and a memorial to the country’s first President.
This site is where George Washington took the oath of office as the country’s first President on April 30, 1789. It was also the location of America’s first Congress and Supreme Court. The capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790 and the building was demolished in 1812. The current structure, built as a US Customs House, now features a museum with a collection of Washington’s inaugural memorabilia and other artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of America’s beginnings.
Highlights of the site include the Bible George Washington used to take his oath of office as the first American President, the stone floor of the original Federal Hall’s balcony where Washington stood for his swearing-in ceremony, and the actual railing he stood behind to take his presidential oath.
The history of the Financial District can be traced back to the New Amsterdam colony, which was dominated by Dutch merchants. In fact, some of the earliest forms of documented trade in continental America occurred on the southern tip of Manhattan during the 17th century.
By the end of the 18th century, Wall Street became one of the most important hubs for the financial sector of New York City and the newly established United States. The New York Stock Exchange was established only several years after the end of the American Revolution. Since then, this institution has symbolized the wealth and power of America on a global scale.
Founded in the 1970s, the NASDAQ Stock Market has expanded the status of the Financial District on an enormous scope. If you’re a true history buff, you’ll also notice the strong presence of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in this part of Lower Manhattan.
The Financial District has multiple underground stations that are part of the New York City subway. You can take the 2 or 3 train to the Wall Street Station near the Museum of American Finance.
Located at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, the Broad Street Station is served by the J and Z lines. Some other busy subway stations in the Financial District include Rector Street and Bowling Green.
Having the distinct Oculus design, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is an important commuter rail complex. The Staten Island Ferry and New York Waterway provide convenient access to Manhattan’s southern tip. FDR Drive and West Street handle most of the vehicular traffic flowing into and out of the Financial District.