Wall Street is at the heart of the New York City financial district in the north of old New Amsterdam; it is named for a wooden wall... more » that was built to keep out the British.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries the area became a main residential street. Due to the economic success of the nearby port, the ground floors of homes were converted into businesses with stores and banks to facilitate--and take advantage of--the many commercial dealings in the area.
In the 1830s, the houses were replaced by banks and the U.S. Customs House; the financial buildings literally grew from there. It soon became the home of the city's first skyscrapers because it was the only way to add more floor space while still remaining in the financial center of the city.
Today Wall Street is home to some of the largest financial institutions in the country and the world, as well as the New York Stock Exchange. This tour will take you on a journey through the financial district, explaining the history of several important buildings, and finishing at the "Charging Bull" statue and Bowling Green, New York's oldest public park. less «
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