New York City, New York Financial District

 

Triposo is Your Smart Travel Guide

Discover and book hotels, restaurants and local experiences in 50,000 destinations worldwide. Triposo works offline so you can wander freely.

  

Save this to your mobile device

The Financial District of Lower Manhattan, also known as FiDi, is a neighborhood located on the southern tip of Manhattan island in New York City. It is bounded by the West Side Highway on the west, Chambers Street and City Hall Park on the north, Brooklyn Bridge on the northeast, the East River to the southeast, and The Battery on the south.
The City of New York was created in the Financial District in 1624, and the neighborhood roughly overlaps with the boundaries of the New Amsterdam settlement in the late 17th century. The district comprises the offices and headquarters of many of the city's major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Anchored on Wall Street in the Financial District, New York City has been called both the most financially powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, and the New York Stock Exchange is the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Financial District, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, NASDAQ, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.
The Financial District is part of Manhattan Community District 1 and its primary ZIP Codes are 10004, 10005, 10006, and 10038. It is patrolled by the 1st Precinct of the New York City Police Department.

Description

1847 map showing the street layout and ferry routes for lower Manhattan

from Wikipedia by SPUI~commonswiki Public domain

The Financial District encompasses roughly the area south of City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan but excludes Battery Park and Battery Park City. The former World Trade Center complex was located in the neighborhood until the September 11, 2001 attacks; the neighborhood includes the successor One World Trade Center. The heart of the Financial District is often considered to be the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, both of which are contained entirely within the district. The northeastern part of the financial district (along Fulton Street and John Street) was known in the early 20th century as the Insurance District, due to the large number of insurance companies that were either headquartered there, or maintained their New York offices there.
Although the term is sometimes used as a synonym for Wall Street, the latter term is often applied metonymously to the financial markets as a whole (and is also a street in the district), whereas "the Financial District" implies an actual geographical location. The Financial District is part of Manhattan Community Board 1, which also includes five other neighborhoods (Battery Park City, Civic Center, Greenwich South, Seaport, and Tribeca).

Architecture

The Chamber of Commerce Building at 65 Liberty Street, one of many historical buildings in the district

from Wikipedia by Beyond My Ken CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0

The Financial District's architecture is generally rooted in the Gilded Age, though there are also some art deco influences in the neighborhood. The area is distinguished by narrow streets, a steep topography, and high-rises Construction in such narrow steep areas has resulted in occasional accidents such as a crane collapse. One report divided lower Manhattan into three basic districts:


  • The Financial District proper—particularly along John Street

  • South of the World Trade Center area—the handful of blocks south of the World Trade Center along Greenwich, Washington and West Streets

  • Seaport district—characterized by century-old low-rise buildings and South Street Seaport; the seaport is "quiet, residential, and has an old world charm" according to one description.


Federal Hall National Memorial, on the site of the first U.S. capitol and the first inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States, is located at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street.
The Financial District has a number of tourist attractions such as the South Street Seaport Historic District, newly renovated Pier 17, the New York City Police Museum, the Museum of American Finance, the National Museum of the American Indian, Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel, and the famous bull. Bowling Green is the starting point of traditional ticker-tape parades on Broadway, where here it is also known as the Canyon of Heroes. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Skyscraper Museum are both in adjacent Battery Park City which is also home to the Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center).
Another key anchor for the area is the New York Stock Exchange. City authorities realize its importance, and believed that it has "outgrown its neoclassical temple at the corner of Wall and Broad streets", and in 1998 offered substantial tax incentives to try to keep it in the Financial District. Plans to rebuild it were delayed by the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Exchange still occupies the same site. The Exchange is the locus for a large amount of technology and data. For example, to accommodate the three thousand persons who work directly on the Exchange floor requires 3,500 kilowatts of electricity, along with 8,000 phone circuits on the trading floor alone, and 200 miles of fiber-optic cable below ground.

Official landmarks

Buildings in the Financial District can have one of several types of official landmark designations:


  • The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is the New York City agency that is responsible for identifying and designating the City's landmarks and the buildings in the City's historic districts. New York City landmarks (NYCL) can be categorized into one of several groups: individual (exterior), interior, and scenic landmarks.

  • The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance.

  • The National Historic Landmark (NHL) focuses on places of significance in American history, architecture, engineering, or culture; all NHL sites are also on the NRHP.


The following landmarks are situated south of Morris Street and west of Whitehall Street/Broadway:

The following landmarks are located west of Broadway between Morris and Barclay Streets:

The following landmarks are located south of Wall Street and east of Broadway/Whitehall Street:

The following landmarks are located east of Broadway between Wall Street and Maiden Lane:

The following landmarks are located east of Broadway and Park Row between Maiden Lane and the Brooklyn Bridge:

The following landmarks apply to multiple distinct areas:

  • Fraunces Tavern Block Historic District (NRHP, NYCL)

  • South Street Seaport Historic District (NRHP, NYCL; includes numerous individual landmarks)

  • Street Plan of New Amsterdam and Colonial New York (NYCL)

  • Stone Street Historic District (NYCL)

  • Wall Street, Fulton Street station interiors (NYCL)

Surrounding neighborhood

The Financial District area from Brooklyn. The South Street Seaport is at the lower middle, slightly to the right.

from Wikipedia by Hu Totya CC-BY-SA-3.0

During most of the 20th century, the Financial District was a business community with practically only offices which emptied out at night. A report in The New York Times in 1961 described a "deathlike stillness that settles on the district after 5:30 and all day Saturday and Sunday". But there has been a change towards greater residential use of the area, pushed forwards by technological changes and shifting market conditions. The general pattern is for several hundred thousand workers to commute into the area during the day, sometimes by sharing a taxicab from other parts of the city as well as from New Jersey and Long Island, and then leave at night. In 1970 only 833 people lived "south of Chambers Street"; by 1990, 13,782 people were residents with the addition of areas such as Battery Park City and Southbridge Towers. Battery Park City was built on 92 acres of landfill, and 3,000 people moved there beginning about 1982, but by 1986 there was evidence of more shops and stores and a park, along with plans for more residential development.
According to one description in 1996, "The area dies at night ... It needs a neighborhood, a community." During the past two decades there has been a shift towards greater residential living areas in the Financial District, with incentives from city authorities in some instances. Many empty office buildings have been converted to lofts and apartments; for example, the office building of Harry Sinclair, the oil magnate involved with the Teapot Dome scandal, was converted to a co-op in 1979. In 1996, a fifth of buildings and warehouses were empty, and many were converted to living areas. Some conversions met with problems, such as aging gargoyles on building exteriors having to be expensively restored to meet with current building codes. Residents in the area have sought to have a supermarket, a movie theater, a pharmacy, more schools, and a "good diner". The discount retailer named Job Lot used to be located at the World Trade Center but moved to Church Street; merchants bought extra unsold items at steep prices and sold them as a discount to consumers, and shoppers included "thrifty homemakers and browsing retirees" who "rubbed elbows with City Hall workers and Wall Street executives"; but the firm went bust in 1993.
There were reports that the number of residents increased by 60% during the 1990s to about 25,000 although a second estimate (based on the 2000 census based on a different map) places the residential population in 2000 at 12,042. By 2001 there were several grocery stores, dry cleaners, and two grade schools and a top high school. There is also a long-standing barber shop across from the New York Stock Exchange. Additionally, there were more signs of dogwalkers at night and a 24-hour neighborhood, although the general pattern of crowds during the working hours and emptiness at night was still apparent. There were also ten hotels and thirteen museums. Stuyvesant High School moved to its present location near Battery Park City in 1992 and has been described as one of the nation's premier high schools with emphasis on science and mathematics. In 2007 the French fashion retailer Hermès opened a store in the Financial District to sell items such as a "$4,700 custom-made leather dressage saddle or a $47,000 limited edition alligator briefcase". However, there are reports of panhandlers like elsewhere in the city. By 2010 the residential population had increased to 24,400 residents. and the area was growing with luxury high-end apartments and upscale retailers.

Street grid

Street grid as seen from the air in 2009

from Wikipedia by Ibagli Public domain

The streets in the area were laid out as part of the Castello Plan prior to the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, a grid plan that dictates the placement of most of Manhattan's streets north of Houston Street. Thus, it has small streets "barely wide enough for a single lane of traffic are bordered on both sides by some of the tallest buildings in the city", according to one description, which creates "breathtaking artificial canyons". Some streets have been designated as pedestrian-only with vehicular traffic prohibited.

Tourism

The Financial District is a major location of tourism in New York City. One report described lower Manhattan as "swarming with camera-carrying tourists". Tour guides highlight places such as Trinity Church, the Federal Reserve gold vaults 80 feet below street level (worth $100 billion), and the NYSE. A Scoundrels of Wall Street Tour is a walking historical tour which includes a museum visit and discussion of various financiers "who were adept at finding ways around finance laws or loopholes through them". Occasionally artists make impromptu performances; for example, in 2010, a troupe of 22 dancers "contort their bodies and cram themselves into the nooks and crannies of the Financial District in Bodies in Urban Spaces" choreographed by Willi Donner. One chief attraction, the Federal Reserve Building in lower Manhattan, paid $750,000 to open a visitors' gallery in 1997. The New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange also spent money in the late 1990s to upgrade facilities for visitors. Attractions include the gold vault beneath the Federal Reserve and that "staring down at the trading floor was as exciting as going to the Statue of Liberty".

Police and crime

Financial District and Lower Manhattan are patrolled by the 1st Precinct of the NYPD, located at 16 Ericsson Place. The 1st Precinct ranked 63rd safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. Though the number of crimes is low compared to other NYPD precincts, the residential population is also much lower. With a non-fatal assault rate of 24 per 100,000 people, Financial District and Lower Manhattan's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 152 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.
The 1st Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 86.3% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 1 murder, 23 rapes, 80 robberies, 61 felony assaults, 85 burglaries, 1,085 grand larcenies, and 21 grand larcenies auto in 2018.

Fire safety

The Financial District is served by three New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:


  • Engine Co. 4/Ladder Co. 15/Decon Unit – 42 South Street

  • Engine Co. 6 – 49 Beekman Street

  • Engine Co. 10/Ladder Co. 10 – 124 Liberty Street

Health

Preterm and teenage births are less common in Financial District and Lower Manhattan than in other places citywide. In Financial District and Lower Manhattan, there were 77 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 2.2 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide), though the teenage birth rate is based on a small sample size. Financial District and Lower Manhattan have a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 4%, less than the citywide rate of 12%, though this was based on a small sample size.
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Financial District and Lower Manhattan is 0.0096mg/m3, more than the city average. Sixteen percent of Financial District and Lower Manhattan residents are smokers, which is more than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers. In Financial District and Lower Manhattan, 4% of residents are obese, 3% are diabetic, and 15% have high blood pressure, the lowest rates in the city—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively. In addition, 5% of children are obese, the lowest rate in the city, compared to the citywide average of 20%.
Ninety-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is more than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 88% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," more than the city's average of 78%. For every supermarket in Financial District and Lower Manhattan, there are 6 bodegas.
The nearest major hospital is NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in the Civic Center area.

Post offices and ZIP codes

Financial District is located within several ZIP Codes. The largest ZIP Codes are 10004, centered around the Battery; 10005, around Wall Street; 10006, around the World Trade Center; 10007, around City Hall; and 10038, around South Street Seaport. There are also several smaller ZIP Codes spanning one block, including 10045 around the Federal Reserve Bank; 10271 around the Equitable Building; and 10279 around the Woolworth Building.
The United States Postal Service operates four post offices in the Financial District:

Transportation

The following New York City Subway stations are located in the Financial District:


  • Bowling Green, Wall Street

  • Broad Street

  • Chambers–WTC–Park Place–Cortlandt Street

  • City Hall, Rector Street

  • Fulton Street

  • Rector Street, WTC Cortlandt

  • South Ferry/Whitehall Street


The largest transit hub, Fulton Center, was completed in 2014 after a $1.4 billion reconstruction project necessitated by the September 11, 2001 attacks, and involves at least five different sets of platforms. This transit hub was expected to serve 300,000 daily riders as of late 2014. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub and PATH station opened in 2016.
MTA Regional Bus Operations also operates several bus routes in the Financial District, namely the routes running north–south through the area, and the routes running west–east through the area. There are also many MTA express bus routes running through the Financial District.

  • The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation operates a free shuttle bus, the Downtown Connection, which circulates around the Financial District during the daytime.


Ferry services are also concentrated downtown, including the Staten Island Ferry at the Whitehall Terminal, NYC Ferry at Pier 11/Wall Street (and Battery Park City Ferry Terminal starting in 2020), and service to Governors Island at the Battery Maritime Building.

Tallest buildings

Name Image Height
ft (m) Floors Year Notes
One World Trade Center 1,776 (541.3) 104 2014 Is the seventh-tallest building in the world and the tallest building in the United States since its topping out on May 10, 2013. It is also the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest all-office building in the world.
3 World Trade Center 1,079 (329) 80 2018 Mixed use; opened in 2018.
4 World Trade Center 978 (298) 74 2013 Third-tallest building at the rebuilt World Trade Center and in the Financial District. The building opened to tenants in 2013.
70 Pine Street 952 (290) 66 1932 22nd-tallest building in the United States; formerly known as the American International Building and the Cities Service Building 70 Pine is being transformed into a residential skyscraper with 644 rental residences, 132 hotel rooms and 35,000 square feet of retail
30 Park Place 937 (286) 82 2016 Four Seasons Private Residences and Hotel. Topped-out in 2015 and completed in 2016.
40 Wall Street 927 (283) 70 1930 26th-tallest in the United States; was world's tallest building for less than two months in 1930; formerly known as the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building; also known as 40 Wall Street
28 Liberty Street 813 (248) 60 1961
50 West Street 778 (237) 63 2016
200 West Street 749 (228) 44 2010 Also known as Goldman Sachs World Headquarters
60 Wall Street 745 (227) 55 1989 Also known as Deutsche Bank Building
One Liberty Plaza 743 (226) 54 1973 Formerly known as the U.S. Steel Building
20 Exchange Place 741 (226) 57 1931 Formerly known as the City Bank-Farmers Trust Building
200 Vesey Street 739 (225) 51 1986 Also known as Three World Financial Center
HSBC Bank Building 688 (210) 52 1967 Also known as Marine Midland Building
55 Water Street 687 (209) 53 1972
1 Wall Street 654 (199) 50 1931 Also known as Bank of New York Mellon Building
225 Liberty Street 645 (197) 44 1987 Also known as Two World Financial Center
1 New York Plaza 640 (195) 50 1969
Home Insurance Plaza 630 (192) 45 1966

Sources

Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap

Financial District