New York Banking and Stock Exchange Walking Tour
This short tour includes stops at historic banks, stock exchanges, and government buildings related to the city of New York becoming the center of American finance by the early 1900s.
The American Stock Exchange Building is the former headquarters of the American Stock Exchange. Previously known as the New York Curb Exchange Building, the American Stock Exchange Building was an early hub for stock and security traders in New York City until the New York Stock Exchange became the central trading center for the city in 2008. Since then, the building has remained unused and vacant.
The Empire Building is a historic skyscraper building located in Manhattan’s Financial District. The building is built on the site of an office building that was constructed in 1859. Completed in 1898, the Empire Building was the headquarters of the United States Steel Corporation from the founding of the corporation in 1901 until 1976. It was designated as a New York City Landmark in June of 1996, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August of 1998.
Remembered only by currency collectors who value its notes that featured Santa Claus, this historic bank operated on Wall Street throughout the second half of the 19th century. Historian Stephen Mihm found that the bank was established in 1853 with a capitalization of half a million dollars and operated until 1893. As a state-chartered bank, it issued its own currency notes in the years prior to the creation of federal notes. The bank was led by Caleb Barstow, who served as president from 1856 to 1874 and was remembered for his generosity. The bank's notes incorporate ships (the original Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of sailors), several images of Santa, and even one bill with early New York founder Peter Stuyvesant.
The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of four rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building, located at 18 Broad Street, between the corners of Wall Street and Exchange Place, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978.
23 Wall Street, also known as "The Corner," is an office building situated in Manhattan's Financial District at the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street. The structure was designed by the architectural firm of Trowbridge and Livingston. Completed in 1914 as the headquarters for the J.P. Morgan and Co., the four-story bank still stands today, although scarred by small pockmarks from the infamous anarchist’s bomb attack that killed 38.
The original city hall from pre-Revolutionary War times stood at this location. It was the site of the famous trial of John Peter Zenger. In 1765, it was where the Stamp Act Congress took place, with delegates from different colonies protesting their dissatisfaction of "taxation without representation." After the Revolutionary War, it was here that George Washington was inaugurated, and also where the Bill of Rights was passed. The building was demolished in 1812, and rebuilt in the Greek-revival style. The building was used as a U.S. custom house, New York sub-Treasury, and finally the memorial that we now see today.
The Museum of American Finance is the nation’s only independent museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and teaching about American finance and financial history. Housed in an historic bank building on Wall Street, the Museum’s magnificent grand mezzanine banking hall provides an ideal setting for permanent exhibits on the financial markets, money, banking, entrepreneurship, and Alexander Hamilton. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, and its seminars and educational programming, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement, and practices. It occupies the former home of the Bank of New York, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784.