On the 1660 Castello map, Whitehall stands out by its white roof and extensive garden
Whitehall Street is a four-block-long street in the South Ferry/Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, near the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The street begins at the southern end of Broadway, at the intersection with Stone Street. Whitehall Street stretches south to the southern end of FDR Drive, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry's Whitehall Terminal, on landfill beyond the site of Peter Stuyvesant's 17th-century house.
The street is one-way southbound for three blocks from Bowling Green to Pearl Street, and one-way northbound up from the FDR Drive to Pearl Street. The southernmost block, adjacent to the ferry terminal, provides access from FDR Drive to the Battery area.
Alexander Hamilton Custom House, seen from across Whitehall Street
Near the foot of the street is the site of the Governor's house built by Peter Stuyvesant; when the British English took over New Amsterdam from the Dutch, they christened the street and the building "Whitehall" for England's seat of government, Whitehall, London. On the Castello map (1660, illustration) Whitehall, with its white roof, stands on a jutting piece of land at Manhattan's tip, facing along the waterfront strand that extends along the East River. The only extensive pleasure gardens in seventeenth-century Nieuw Amsterdam/New York are seen to extend behind it, laid out in a patterned parterre of four squares. Other grounds in the center of blocks behind houses are commons and market gardens. The mansion is long gone, and now the name survives only as the short north-south Whitehall Street.
In the 2000s the Metropolitan Transportation Authority renovated the Topps Corporation office building at 2 Broadway, to use as a new headquarters. There are several other office buildings and low-density shops on that street.
From 1884 to the end of the Vietnam War, the Army Building, used as offices, a military recruiting center, and an Armed Forces Examination and Entrance Station (i.e., induction center), was located at 39 Whitehall Street, at the intersection of White Hall, Pearl, and Water Streets. Nearly three million Americans were inducted at the Army building before being closed after two bombings by war resisters (in 1968 and 1969). The damage was superficial, however, and the building has been repurposed as a glass-skinned condominium, with retail space and the alternate address: 3 New York Plaza.
Staten Island Ferry's Whitehall Terminal
There is an active passenger ferry terminal at the southern tip of Whitehall Street: the Whitehall Terminal, which serves the Staten Island Ferry. However, its facilities in use have shifted over the decade, as have the destinations served. The original Whitehall Terminal served Brooklyn, Governors Island, Staten Island, and Jersey City, New Jersey, and it was originally served mainly by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company's elevated train lines at South Ferry station. Furthermore, the terminal once served vehicular traffic.Staten Island Museum website, retrieved February 22, 2011. However, the subways have replaced the els, and cars now use fixed crossings such as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The structure was renovated in the 1950s and reopened in 1956. It was destroyed by fire in 1991. It was renovated in 1992–2005.
The Battery Maritime Building, housing the ferry to Governors Island, is located just east of the Whitehall Terminal. It is open to the public from April through October. The terminal was renovated in 2001–2005. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Whitehall Street–South Ferry station of the New York City Subway is located on Whitehall Street. Entrances are located at the northern and southern ends of the street (at Stone Street and the Staten Island Ferry terminal, respectively). The Bowling Green subway station , just steps away from the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, is also on Whitehall Street.
In popular culture
The former military induction center at 39 Whitehall Street was made famous in Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant."