Momboisse Family Adventures New York - Day One (Financial District, Ground Zero, and High Line)

Friday, September 22, 2017
Day One, New York City

From Battery Park we continued on our walking tour on State Street to Our Lady of the Rosary  Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine.

James Watson House (7 State Street) built in 1793 is now the rectory of the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.  James Watson was a Federalist and the first Speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Born in 1774, Elizabeth Ann Seton married William Seton in 1794.  From 1801 to 1803 Elizabeth and William lived at 8 State Street. This building was demolished in 1964 and Our Lady of the Rosary Seton Shrine was built.

William died in 1803. Two years later Elizabeth converted to Catholicism and three years after that she founded America’s first religious order, the Sisters of Charity and the Catholic parochial school system in the United States. She became the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

Financial District 

In 1625 what is today the financial district was a Dutch settlement. That year, the southern tip of what is now Manhattan, became New Amsterdam a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic.  Though the area was renamed New York in 1664 in honor of the Duke of York, after the English captured it, many of the Dutch street names still exist today. 

Beaver Street was the path for loading pelts onto ships; Pearl Street which was once the coastline, and covered with oyster shells; Stone Street was paved in 1655 to cut down on the mud tossed about by horses; and Water Street where we are now headed.  Water Street is not shown on the map because it was the east edge of the island and covered in water. Make a left on Broad Street, Fraunces Tavern will be on the corner of Pearl and Broad.

Built in 1719 it was originally the residence of the Delancey family.  The home was purchased in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces who turned it into one of the most popular taverns of his day. 

During the 1770's the tavern was the home of a number of organizations, including the New York City Chamber of Commerce, and the Sons of Liberty.

During the British evacuation in 1783, the American Commissioners set up headquarters at the Tavern and on December 4, 1783, General George Washington bade farewell to his officers at a banquet held in the Long Room located on the second floor of the tavern. 

After the Revolutionary War, when New York was the nation's first capital, the tavern housed the office of the Department of the Treasury, War (today's Defense Department), and Foreign Affairs (today's State Department).

The present building was purchased by the Sons of the Revolution in 1904, and restored to its revolutionary appearance. It has since been maintained by this organization.  A museum on the second floor well worth $7 admission price.  

Continue east along Pearl Street past the former home of Goldman Sachs. If you didn't know to look for it, you would easily miss the Portal to Old New York around the base of the high-rise.

The foundations of homes and taverns from New York's Dutch past were unearthed during construction of this building in the mid 1970s and may be viewed through thick Plexiglass. 

A left at Coeties Alley and right on Stone Street brings us to the Historic Stone Street District.

In the 1650's Stone Street became the first paved street in the entire city.

Today the cobblestones remain, and part of Stone Street that is pedestrian only is lined with pubs.  A good place to finally stop for lunch.  Mike was like a kid in a candy store, so many options.  The Dubliner, maybe...Murphy's Tavern, possibly...Ulysses Folk House.... 
"Just choose one," I said.  

Settled in at Ulysses Folk House at noon and watched as the bar filled with construction workers coming in for lunch and a drink where everyone knows your name.

Shared a perfect pub lunch -
hotdog in puff pastry, mini hamburgers, and fries.

After lunch we continued our tour of the Financial District.  From Stone, a left on Mill Lane, and

left on S. Williams past old-world
 Dutch architecture.  

Right on Broad Street then left on Beaver to Bowling Green Park.  

1 Bowling Green stands on the site of Fort Amsterdam the administrative and military headquarters of the Dutch colony during the 1600's.  The building currently on this site is the Custom House built in 1907 by Cass Gilbert. Gilbert also designed the Woolworth Building. 

 At the other end of Bowling Green park is "Charging Bull", a 3 1/2 ton sculpture created by artist Arturo Di Modica after the 1987 stock market crash and left here on December 15, 1989 as a Christmas gift to New York City.     The NYPD initially placed it in an impound lot.  But public outcry led to it being permanently installed December 21, 1989. It is considered good luck to rub its back end. 

Mike preferred the front end. 

I hung out with "Fearless Girl"
who wasn't getting nearly as much love.

Continuing our tour of the Financial District we walk north on Broadway, right turn on Exchange Place, and left on Broad Street.  Here we are in front of 18 Broad Street and a building that stretches an entire city block from Exchange Place to Wall Street.  The building, the New York Stock Exchange. 

The exchange had its beginning in 1792 when 24 brokers met under a buttonwood tree near this location. 

This current building was built in 1903. For years trading was done on the floor of the exchange, with clerks hand carrying trades across the floor on slips of paper.

Eventually the clerks could not keep up with the volume.  Computers solved this problem in the 1970's.

Heavily guarded and shielded from car/truck attacks, we could only get pictures from the street. 

At the intersection of Broad and Wall looking west toward Trinity Church.  Wall Street is named because this is where the wall was built at the north end of New Amsterdam.  

On the opposite corner is 23 Wall Street, an office building formerly owned by J. P. Morgan & Co. 

On September 16, 1920, a bomb exploded outside the building killing nearly forty people and injuring hundreds.  There are still marks on the side of the building from the explosion.

Across the street at 26 Wall Street is the Greek Revival style Federal Hall National Memorial, built in 1842 on the site of the original Federal Hall.

The first building was built in 1703 for the British royal governor's council.  It was also the New York City Hall.  In 1765 delegates of nine colonies met here to declare "no taxation without representation," and in 1785 after the American Revolution, it became the nation's first capital. 

It was on these steps that George Washington was sworn in as president on April 30, 1789, and where the Bill of Rights was adopted and read in September of 1789. 

The building was torn down in 1812, and rebuilt as a Customs House in 1842.  Twenty years later it would became one of six Federal Sub-Treasuries.  These Sub-Treasuries were replaced by the Federal Reserve Bank in 1920. Today, the hall serves as a museum.    

Continue north on Nassau turn right on Pine to the 71 story skyscraper known as the Trump Building. 

Completed in April of 1930, it was originally known as The Bank of Manhattan Trust, and at 927 feet tall it was the tallest building in New York.

One month later in May of 1930, The Chrysler building took the title of tallest building after adding a 125 foot steel spire to the top.

Donald Trump acquired the building in 1995 and it is used for commercial stores. 

Continuing on, make a left on Williams and left on Maiden Way to the Federal Reserve Bank.  

A fortress, the Federal Reserve Bank was built in 1924 and occupies an entire wedge-shaped block.  Inside are gigantic vaults five stories below ground that hold the world's largest gold reserves.

Walking east on Liberty we turn left on Broadway and pass Zuccotti Park.  This park was heavily damaged during the September 11, 2001 attack and in 2011 it was the home base for the Occupy Wall Street camp. 

Past the Trinity Church Cemetery where if time had permitted we planned on looking for the graves of Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, John Jacob Astor, and Horatio Gates. 

Trinity Church (Episcopal) was originally built in 1698.  The church that stands here today is the third version, built 1846.  Though soot rained down on the church during the September 11, 2001 attacks Trinity Church was not damaged.  

Right on Rector Street, right on Trinity Place past Zuccotti Park again, then left on Liberty Street to the entrance of the 911 Memorial at Ten House.

Ten House is the home to engine 10 and ladder 10 across from where the World Trade Center Towers stood.  It was the closest firehouse and first to respond on September 11, 2001.

Six firefighters from this
 firehouse were killed that day.

This is also the home to the bronze relief memorial wall dedicated to the 343 members of the NYFD who died on 9/11.  This firehouse suffered major damage and took two years and $3.5 million to rebuild.

Cross Greenwich Street to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. 

The international contest to design the 9/11 Memorial was won by Michael Arad and Peter Walker with "Reflecting Absence," two pools that encompass the footprints of the twin towers.

Surrounding the pool is a continuous ribbon of names with individual sprays cascading over the side. 

After 9/11 workers found a Callery pear tree that had been reduced to a tall stump. The Callery pear was nursed back to health, now known as the "Survivor Tree," it was planted at the 9/11 Memorial. All the rest of the trees at the memorial are swamp white oaks, the "Survivor Tree," stands out as a symbol of "resilience, survival, and rebirth."  

Six months earlier we purchased our tickets to the 9/11 Museum for a 2pm entry time.  

The last column of steel 

removed from ground zero. 

Ladder Company 3 Fire Truck 

We took the self-guided tour of the September 11, 2001 Historical Exhibition on the third floor, where no photography was allowed.  The exhibit which is very well put together is comprised of three parts which explore what led up to the attacks, the day of, and the immediate aftermath. The exhibit is a place of solemn reflection and is viewed by walking slowly past panels where videos and radios play on loops.  Many eerily depict the voices and pictures of the victims. 

No Day Shall Erase You
 From the Memory of Time - Virgil

One World Trade Tower, "Freedom Tower," the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  Unfortunately no time to take the elevator to the top.  

Continuing north on Greenwich Street turn right on Vesey to Saint Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church (Episcopal) to view the exhibit "Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero."  Though across the street from the World Trade Center, the chapel was only slightly damaged. Side note, this was the church George Washington attended when he was in town.  

Right behind the church is the new $4 billion Oculus transportation and retail space.  It is also known as "the dove." 

Eleven subways are available from this building.  We took the Blue Line to 14th and 8th to walk the High Line.  

High Line

Once an elevated railroad track carrying goods on freight trains to the Chelsea District

is now an elevated walking park,
 the 1 1/2 mile High Line

The High Line begins at Gansevoort Street in the meat-packing district of Greenwich Village and continues north to the Chelsea district. We entered on 14th Street.

Railroad ties are re-purposed in landscaping. 

Walking path with sunbathers,

and springs of water for splashing on hot days. 

A look down 15th Street at the former
meatpacking district. 

 Urban Amphitheater,
10th Avenue Square at 17th Street.

Empire State Building in distance and Morgan's Restaurant in foreground.

10th Avenue between 20th and 21st Street, the mid 19th Century Gothic style High Line Hotel and General Theological Seminary (Episcopal) are behind the buildboard. 

As we walk the High Line we walk between many apartment buildings. This one 505 West 22 Street looks much different from the front.  Built in 1900 this is a five story walk up apartment building with 10 units.  2 bedroom 1 bath on the 5th floor with sweet mural costs $2,750 a month.  Actually not as bad as I thought it would be in West Chelsea. 

Designed by "celebrated theorist and maverick architect" Neil Denari, High Line 23 at 515 West 23rd has eleven full floor residences that cantilever over the High Line.  Be prepared to pay a pretty penny.  

26th Street viewing spur, where High Line public become a living billboard for 26th Street traffic. 

After an exciting, and eventful day, we exited at W 30th Street and walked to the Hudson Station to take the 7 Train to Times Square.  Only six miles of walking (we clock more on a single day at Disney World) but our dogs were barking.  

My over zealous plan was to take a nap and head out to walk the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. 

After a nap we found the neon lights of O'Lunney's next door to the Hyatt Centric calling...

 Fish and Chips + Guinness = done for the day.

Tomorrow Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge (you didn't think I was going to miss that one?), and Little Italy.
For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering many of our tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store. The App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way).
Photography (with iphone 5s) by L.A. Momboisse and R.M. Momboisse unless otherwise listed below: 

Black and white photo of 7 and 8 State Street 1891, Wikipedia.
Original map of New Amsterdam from 1660, Wikipedia.
Map of Mannados (Manhattan) or New Amsterdam circa 1661.
Street plan of New Amsterdam and Colonial New York.
Portal to Old New York from Forgotten New York.
Colorized picture of The New York Stock Exchange in 1882, Wikipedia.
Black and white picture of day bomb exploded at J. P Morgan building, Wikipedia.
Colorized engraving by Amos Doolittle depicting Washington's April 30, 1789 inauguration, Wikipedia.
Black and white photo of Saint Paul's Chapel in front of the twin towers from the church website.
Photograph of the Oculus from New York Daily News.
Black and white photo of New York Central Railroad north of 17th Street 1934, photographer not listed