Situated on Wall Street in Manhattan, Mannahatta Park is a public green space with historic significance. This park is located on the site of a slave market that thrived in the 18th century. Today, the well-designed Mannahatta Park adds aesthetic appeal to the bustling financial hub of The Big Apple. Click to book your New York City Slavery and Underground Railroad walking tour.
Features and Sightseeing
Mannahatta Park has a contemporary landscape design that blends in nicely with the modern architecture of the surrounding skyscrapers. This green space is lined with comfortable benches that provide great resting spots for passers-by and local workers from the Financial District. Stockbrokers, bankers, and other professionals typically spend their lunchtime in this beautiful urban space.
Native and exotic plants, shrubs, and trees have been carefully integrated into Mannahatta Park to beautify the area that’s mostly dominated by concrete, glass, and steel. The eastern tip of the park offers some views of the East River and the skyline of Brooklyn. Additionally, this public square offers great perspectives of high-rise properties that dominate the scene on Wall Street and the adjacent thoroughfares. An educational plaque about New York’s municipal slave market is installed in the heart of Mannahatta Park.
The island of Manhattan was occupied by British colonists in the early 18th century. As one of the busiest ports in the New World, New York was an ideal location for international commerce. British and other European merchants established a slave market in a bustling section of Wall Street. The Common Council legislation legalized the trade of slaves in this rapidly growing city.
After running for just more than 50 years, the slave market at the corner of Wall Street and Water Street closed permanently. However, most of the former slaves didn’t enjoy complete freedom as they had limited economic opportunities. In fact, approximately 20% of New York City’s residents in the late 1700s were slaves.
New York officially outlawed slavery in the 1820s, and the local economy was significantly transformed. The abolition of slavery eventually opened many job opportunities for European immigrants in the middle of the 19th century.
Mannahatta Park was created as a historical marker for the municipal slave market of the 1700s. The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation also established this public space as part of an effort to create a greener Lower Manhattan. With some generous donations from the Wall Street-based Deutsche Bank, Mannahatta Park received a beautiful glass fountain with a nautical motif that’s inspired by the local geography and history.
Visiting Mannahatta Park
Mannahatta Park occupies a small paved plaza at the corner of Wall Street and Water Street in the heart of the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. The larger section of the park is situated between Front Street and South Street. This intimate public space is squeezed in between modern skyscrapers that mostly include corporate offices or luxurious residential properties.
Getting to Mannahatta Park is easy via the New York City Subway. Wall Street has several underground stations that are conveniently located within walking distance of the green space. For example, the 2 and 3 trains stop near the Museum of American Finance. You can also take the J and Z lines to the stop on Broad Street near the New York Stock Exchange.
Numerous buses that are operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) drop off and pick up passengers on Water Street, which intersects Mannahatta Park. Additionally, this historic marker is just a few steps away from Pier 11/Wall Street. Situated on the East River, the terminal is serviced by the NYC Ferry. Commuter ferries from Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey stop at this busy riverfront station.
Location: the corner of Wall Street and Water Street, Lower Manhattan, New York, NY
Click here to visit Mannahatta Park official website.