It is the most impressive building in Wall Street, with columns recreating Greek architecture.
Its staircase functions almost as a balcony over the place, with tourists disputing the angles to take their photos and resting a little, with the security strong apparatus "telling" that there must be some safer places in town and inviting to move on.
Outside is a bronze statute of George Washington which dates back to 1882 and is located on the approximate site of where he was inaugurated at the original building in 1789. Aside of a stone marker at the base of the statue and a brass relief of Washington in prayer. Outside it is amazing how small the building is compared to all of the office buildings around it.
This is not the original Federal Hall as that was foolishly razed in 1812 in favor of a book store which failed after a few years and the current building was built in 1842 as the country's first Customs House.
Inside is opened weekdays from 9 until 5. At the rotunda we saw a small art exhibit regarding the US Coast Guard and there is a small gift shop with nothing special. Marble door frames were badly cracked. One door frame is cracked from the vibrations associated from the collapse of the Twin Towers and the other is still cracking from the vibrations from the J train underneath the building. Also the marble floor on the left side is slightly bowed in certain spots from all of the foot traffic when that part of the building was used as a waiting area/line queue during it's days as a customs house.
Next, the visitor center has a large display regarding other NPS parks in the NYC area and other parts of the country along with a few items from Martha Washington. In a room across from the visitor center is a small display regarding the trail of John Peter Zenger which took place at the original building and Mr. Zenger was also jailed for several months at the original building. It was a landmark case regarding Libel and that trial had a large impact in the creation of the First Amendment.
We eventually saw the major artifacts; a giant cracked marble slab from the balcony of original building that Washington stood on when taking the oath of office, a piece of the wrought iron railing from the balcony where Washington stood when inaugurated and thebible that Washington used for his inauguration. It has since been used by four other presidents most recently for George H.W. Bush.
There isn't a wait and there isn't a fee. On a nice day many enjoy their lunches on the front steps or take photos with Washington's statue.
Wall Street is America's and in some ways, the worlds financial center. The first time visitor will be amazed at how small this area really is considering its outsized importance to the world economy.
Wall Street is a 0.7-mile-long/1.1 km street running eight blocks (northwest to southeast), from Broadway to South Street in the Financial District of New York City. Nowadays, it is used not as a street name but rather a synonyme for the financial institutions and industries located in this specific area of NYC, like the Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq, the New York Board of Trade, the Mercatile Exchange, and more.
Even more often, Wall Street is used as a "shortcut" to describe the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It was once possible to visit the building and lock on the trading floor from a viewing platform, but not any more due to security reasons. It is still possible to view the building from outside; also, Financial District-themed "guided tours" are recommended as they give you lots of background information on the volatile history of New Yorks financial industry.
One of the most popular sights (not "on" Wall Street, but in walking distance on Bowling Plaza) is the "Charging Bull"-sculpture by artist Di Modica, representing the economic "bull"-cycle of a stock market on the rise. The sculpture actually has an interesting history, as the artist was not commissioned by the city but just placed it on Broad Street in a "guerilla art" action in 1989. It quickly became popular, was then removed by the city authorities and - after protests - later reinstalled to its present location on Bowling Green Plaza.
Even if Wall Street is not the most "accessible" of New York`s sights, it is still fascinating to visit; maybe because is is not very accessible, but vivid in the public imagination, films, books etc. ("Black Friday" 1929, financial crashes etc. etc.) and because the investment world is a subculture with its own rules and language understood by few outsiders.
In the marvelous town, where each building is more beautiful, than the previous one, Wall street, is mainly the feeling of being in the world's financial center. But in my last visit, the dominating show was more the security apparatus than the site itself.
It's a pity, what the world is becoming.
Anyway, I had the pleasure of seeing my Portuguese bank in a privileged location.
I've been there once more, the nervous apparatus continues, but I couldn't locate my bank. Moved or confusion, I don't know.
Money. That's what Wall Street has become. It might have started out as a simple street following a defensive wall to keep out the British and unfriendly natives, but today it is just about money. Lots of it. This one street makes more money than entire countries. With upwards of 75 billion in profits every year, that's more than the entire GDP of Croatia. Even the street sign sold for over a hundred thousand dollars.
It's intimately linked to not only the US economy, but the world. Where Wall Street goes the global economy is bound to follow, even if that is down into the abyss of economic collapse. People watch what happens here. Movies are made about it. Its buildings form a symbol of both the good and bad of high finance. Wall Street is an icon in itself that appears in nightly news broadcasts around the world.
(work in progress)
The iconic bull structure at the northern tip of Bowling Green just by Wall Street is one on the most enduring symbols of capitalism ... and, as such, attracts huge crowds of tourists (especially tour groups). The symbolism is straightforward, and refers to the 'bull' (as opposed to a 'bear') market when shares are skyrocketing in value and investors are making a fortune.
I decided to photograph this sculpture from a less traditional angle: a decision partly born out of practicality because the 'front end' was being engaged by a busload of Japanese tourists, but which might also be interpreted as wry social commentary on the ethics of many Wall Street bankers!
I have been to NYC dozen's of time ..... but I had never been to Wall St and as I was walking up Broadway in lower Manhattan looking for the subway I stumbled upon it ..... now security is tight like it is everywhere in NYC but you can get some great PIX of the NYC stock exchange .... the famous bull is also there but it's on Broadway and you have to line up to get your pix taken with it ..... but really not much to see, just the facade of the NY Stock Exchange.
The Charging Bull or oftentimes referred to as Wall St Bull or Bowling Green Bull is unofficially, Wall St's mascot (some argue that the bull should be replaced by greedy bankers dressed as Joker). It's a tourist magnet, understandbly, and getting a clear picture of it, without snapping a tourist's head or two is not easy.
The sculpture was crafted by the New York artist Arturo Di Modica who gifted it to the city in Christmas 1989 (Di Modica still owns the sculpture and has offered it for sale, on the condition that it remains at its current location). Although the city government of New York has expressed that the current location is not permanent, public pressure (and more importantly tourist dollars), have kept them from moving the sculpture to other locations.
Looking at it, the sculpture not only reminds me of the word "bullish," which is the "technical" adjective for a stock market on the uptrend, but also of the golden calf in the Bible. Who knows the Charging Bull could, like the golden calf, be worshipped by people so in love with the materialistic world!
Ah, Wall Street, bastion of the 1%. Yes, THE one percent.
For a time, I also dreamed of working here, but I'm now at peace with that part of my youthful ambition. Still, Wall Street is worth a visit for its history and the best time to do that would be around the close of trading where you see the brokers emerge from the building to go back to their nearby offices.
At the time of my visit in autumn 2009, there were no Occupy Wall St movement yet, but rather some small "gathering" of activists (www.liftamericaup.com) calling for jobs and innovation, topics not unusual to Wall St.
The heart of New York's financial district - Wall Street. We were here on a Sunday, so it was quiet, but during the week, the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall (where Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States), Trinity Church, and the Federal Reserve Building are all worthwhile places to visit.
Wall Street was the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange. Located in lower Manhattan it runs east from Broadway to South Street through the center of the financial district. The architecturally interesting NYSE building (with its elaborate marble facade) is located at the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets. Many other US stock and other exchanges are headquarted on Wall Street including the NASDAQ.
The Federal Reserve Bank of NY is also located in the financial district. The bank has a gold vault 80 feet beneath the street. This depository is the largest in the world, larger even than Fort Knox.
There are some very nice buildings in the Financial District and Trinity Church can be seen from Wall Street. Make sure to visit the Charging Bull (also known as the Wall Street Bull) in Bowling Green Park near Wall Street. He was created and installed following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the strength and power of the American people.