Handling trillions of dollars of daily trades, the New York Stock Exchange is a global financial powerhouse. This stock exchange is arguably the most recognizable fixture on the historic Wall Street in New York City’s Financial District. Since its inception in the late 18th century, the NYSE has shaped the American economy in tough and successful times.
Overview of the NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange is officially housed in a grand building on Wall Street. Designed by George B. Post, the Neoclassical facade has large Corinthian columns that support stunning carvings inside a pediment. The figures in the pediment are collectively known as the Integrity Protecting the Works of Man.
The main trading floor of the NYSE includes more than 20 sections that are optimized for real-time trading. Each business day at the exchange is officially opened and closed with the ringing of a bell.
Notable celebrities, politicians, business people, and other figures are usually invited to participate in these simple opening and closing ceremonies. Some of them include Joe DiMaggio, Liza Minnelli, Rudy Giuliani, and members of the New York fire department and police.
Immediately after the American Revolution, New York City experienced rapid growth under a new economy that was free of any foreign restrictions and regulations. Already having a well-established infrastructure, Manhattan was a natural hub for commerce on national and global scales.
In 1792, two dozen brokers met on Wall Street to establish a permanent marketplace for the exchange of stocks. The rather informal meeting took place under a buttonwood tree on this busy street. Consequently, the Buttonwood Agreement marked the official birth of the New York Stock Exchange. Regional banks in New York enthusiastically participated in the newly established market that would eventually become one of the largest of its size.
As the American economy developed and evolved, new regulations were enacted to control the trade of securities and other financial transactions. New legislation and technology have shaped the operations of the NYSE for much of the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the NYSE was one of the major driving forces of the country’s economy. Tycoons of the Gilded Age further solidified the important status of Wall Street on an international scale.
The Stock Market Crash of 1929 marked the last phases of the exciting and prolific era that was known as the Roaring Twenties. After the crash, many Americans questioned the validity and integrity of Wall Street and its entities. The once powerful Financial District of Lower Manhattan gave way to federal programs that were enacted by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
World War II further strengthened and revived the American economy which was traditionally dependent on the success of Wall Street. After the war, the financial sector of Manhattan surprisingly grew to unprecedented levels. By the end of the 20th century, the NYSE was the undisputed king of the market capitalization of stocks.
Visiting New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange stands at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street in the Financial District. This part of Manhattan has some of the tallest skyscrapers in New York City. Getting to Wall Street by public transit should be easy, quick, and affordable. In fact, the street has multiple underground stations that are part of the New York City Subway network.
The 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains offer convenient access to Wall Street. The J and Z trains stop at the underground tracks of the Broad Street station, which is only steps away from the NYSE. Located about eight blocks east of the stock exchange, Pier 11 is served by the NYC Ferry.
Location: 11 Wall Street, New York, NY, 10005
Click here to visit New York Stock Exchange official website.