November 11, 2007

This is Wall Street

In trying to gain an understanding of my current home, I pulled out my camera and took a walk down Wall Street, starting at the East River and moving west along my street until it runs into Broadway. (I do not claim to be a historian, details found within this post were substantiated by quick on-line research only.) Though less than a half mile in length there is quite a bit to see...

Here we are at the beginning of Wall Street, beneath FDR Drive. There is a bike/walk path that runs along the East River.

At the East River, leaning against the rail, I looked towards the Brooklyn Bridge and South Street Seaport on the north,
east to Brooklyn,
and gazing south you can see the Downtown Heli-port (look past the pier and you can see a helicopter resting there).

I wonder if this mallard and his lady are aware of all the unfortunate things that have been tossed into the East River over the last few centuries. I know that I haven't any desire to swim there.

Turning back towards the west, walk under Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive (runs along the East River from Battery to the Triborough Bridge)
and cross South Street where the actual street part begins.

Standing on South Street, looking west you can barely see Trinity Church at the end of Wall Street.

Couldn't help but notice a late blooming rose.

Citibank, one of the first of many banks along my street.

I just really liked the way this building number looked.
Again, my attention was caught by the building number.

A few of the streets in the Financial District aren't exactly square, some of the buildings are not really square either. I actually kind of like the triangle shape - 67 Wall is sometimes referred to as Wall Street's Flatiron building.

A close-up of the detail on the side of this building. Now I don't know all that much about architecture....but I am a fairly good judge of what is pretty or interesting to me. I have learned that here one should look up at the second story (or higher) of buildings as there is much detail to see. Noticing this workmanship, I was curious about what the "Munson Steamship Company" was. Through some very quick research (I Y Google) I found that the company primarily dealt in the sugar and molasses trade but went out of business in 1939. Now it is an apartment building.

Oftentimes I notice something a story or two up and wonder at the history of the building. As I was taking my self-conducted tour, I noticed these emblems on the building directly across from 67 Wall. I wonder if it also was part of the Munson Company.
This I was unable to ascertain, but I found the detail quite fascinating.

67 Wall also houses a BMW dealership. Yes, my street has its very own in-door car dealership. I do so enjoy window-shopping :)

Another not quite square building.

The Deutsche Bank building, 60 Wall, is a 47 story skyscraper.

A little history about 55 Wall...

Now it is home to Cipriani - a very classy place. It includes an upscale restaurant and luxury apartments. Bruce Willis is rumored to own one. I have yet to see him though.

48 Wall was originally the headquarters of the Bank of New York. This building was completed in 1929 on land originally occupied by the bank in 1797. I read that the building is now being renovated to become a banking museum.

The corner of William and Wall. Also the building I call home.

Another bank showing its face on Wall Street.

I have walked through this revolving door hundreds of times now. Not exactly what I had planned a few years ago but it will do for now.

At any hour of the day or night, one can walk down my street and see many men wearing blue coats with "security" spelled out in big block letters across the back. Also, one may notice that there are blockades preventing traffic from driving down Wall Street between Broadway and William.

Here is one such block. It makes a very convenient seat if one finds oneself waiting for a friend.

Across the street is 40 Wall, 72 stories, now owned by the Trump Organization. 1929 was a historic year for it, as the architects of 40 Wall and the Chrysler building were racing to see who could reach the grandest height.

It only took one year to build.

Briefly in 1930, 40 Wall held the record for the worlds tallest building, however the Chrysler building eclipsed it. It is still considered one of the tallest buildings so that must count for something.

In October, Tiffany & Co opened a branch at 37 Wall.
Referred to by their marketing department as "the Heart of Wall Street," it is stunning from the outside. I have yet to go in, but someday...

So this is one of those things that I wonder if I should be alarmed about. Those are tanks marked nitrogen (about as tall as me) and I really don't know the purpose of them. Should I be concerned? Hope not!

30 Wall. A few weeks ago I paused to watch as workers painted the gold areas on the iron-work. This once was the home of the Branch Bank of the United States and also the Assay Office. Now there is a New York Sports Club located there.

This is the statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall. It was at this location that he was sworn in as first President of the United States.
I have walked down this street countless times but this is the first time that I ever noticed this large plaque, which was presented to the city on February 22, 1907 (175th anniversary of his birth - 100 years ago), placed to the right of the stairs leading into Federal Hall. It is a depiction of George Washington at Valley Forge. I certainly hope others are more observant than I am.

I stood on the same corner to take these two pictures. I always thought this was one street (running north to south) however it appears that to the north of Wall Street it is named Nassau

and to the south it is named Broad Street. Interesting.

This is my absolute favorite site on my street. (I totally cheated and walked down Broad for this snapshot in order to get a clear view of the flags as construction work is being performed on the northeast corner of the building.) I just love the huge flag on the side of the New York Stock Exchange, which was completed in 1903. Directly above the flag is the pediment with a sculpture entitled "Integrity protecting the works of man" - depicting Integrity surrounded by Agriculture, Mining, Science, Industry, and Invention. The original marble statues had to be replaced with lead-coated replicas in 1936 as the building could not support the weight of the marble. I find it a most stunning site.
This is the New Street entrance (obviously under construction). When I first visited NYC in the Fall of 2005, I was privledged to join the group from BYU-I for a tour of the NYSE. At the conclusion of our tour, we exited out these doors. I remember being so relieved when we boarded the subway and headed back to midtown as I had felt so lost when walking through the Financial District. I find it quite ironic that it is now my home.

More interesting designs.

Another bank on Wall Street.

1 Wall Street. 50 stories. Currently owned by the Bank of New York, it sits on what is said to be one of the most expensive corners in the world.

The New Street side of One Wall Street. I think this building is gorgeous.

A bit further back in time, an actual wall was built in 1653 to protect the settlers from attack. This was the northern border of what was then known as New Amsterdam. The wall ran from the East River to the Hudson. I wonder how effective it did last for nearly 50 years.

Remember to look up - I love stars.

Here we are at the corner of Broadway and Wall. Trinity Church sits on Broadway at the end of Wall Street. Construction of the current church was completed in 1846 (the original building was destroyed in the Great New York Fire of 1776, and the second building was weakened by severe snowstorms in 1838-39 and had to be rebuilt). Many prominent citizens, including Alexander Hamilton and John Jacob Astor, were buried in the graveyard adjacent to the church through the 1840's, if not later.

Trinity Church marks the west end of Wall Street.

There you have it, the street where I live.