The Financial District is home to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It is the heart of commerce in New York and in the United States. It is densely populated by the city’s tallest skyscrapers that was once the home almost exclusively to investment banking firms, brokers, and insurance companies. A new wave of industry has since saturated FiDi, including media companies like Condé Nast, The Daily Beast, and American Media Inc, among other titles. The Financial District also doubled its population of residents between 2000 and 2014.
By day, the Financial District is the epicenter of Finance. By night, however, it’s one of the city’s quietest neighborhoods. After businesses close for the day, the beauty of the neighborhood emerges with more clarity. Against the sparkling and intimidating skyscrapers and the cobblestoned streets it is hard to not become steeped in the neighborhood’s history.
No matter what time of day, though, the neighborhood is characterized by its history. FiDi is known for Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Freedom Tower. The frenzy of finance occupies this neighborhood during the day making it one of the fastest-paced neighborhoods in the city.
Though it is primarily known for finance, the neighborhood has adapted to its growing number of residents. There are plenty of grocery stores, post offices and (of course) banks to give it the features of a great neighborhood to live in. The neighborhood is also known for its restaurants. South Street Seaport houses several popular restaurants, including Delmonico’s, a New York staple, and Luke’s Lobster. Although FiDi is mostly quiet after dark, there are still a few classic neighborhood pubs that continue to define FiDi nightlife, including Jeremy’s Ale House and the 200-year-old Bridge Cafe. And one can’t discount the local luxury provided by the amenity-rich, newly-renovated apartment buildings.
Tall, and overwhelmingly so. Over 85% of renters in this neighborhood live in buildings with 50 or more units. The buildings are luxury high-rises with good amenities.
FiDi’s history goes back to the beginning of the United States. Wall Street gets its name from the wall that was erected before 1660 and was used to help repel the English. George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on Wall Street on April 30th, 1789. During the 18th and early 19th centuries the area became the main residential area of the city due to the nearby port. Over time, homes were replaced by banks and businesses. The area was so popular the nation’s first skyscrapers were built here to accommodate the ever-growing number of businesses that wanted offices in the area.
In more recent history, the Financial District and Wall Street are known for the financial crisis of 2007-8 and for the Occupy Wall Street movement that followed in New York and nationally.
Whether you’re visiting or a resident, there are a few not-to-be-missed activities in the Financial District. Enjoy the neighborhood’s combination of historic and modern architecture or one of the many green spaces in the city like the oldest public park, Bowling Green. And, of course, see the iconic “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street or take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
South Street Seaport, the 9/11 memorial, and 1 World Trade Tower.