City Living: The Financial District
As 17th century Dutch settlers were enchanted with the pristine nature and advantageous location of what is now the Financial District, so might modern day visitors be drawn to FiDis architecture, landmarked buildings and monuments.
All over the Financial District, visitors and residents can witness testaments to three centuries of history.
Before Michael Douglas Wall Street character Gordon Gekko became a household name, the Financial District served as headquarters for early (nonfictional) financiers such as Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who is buried at Trinity Church.
Trinity Church is one of many historical sites here. The first construction was completed in 1698, but the current church, built in 1846, is a National Historical Landmark in part due to its Gothic Revival architecture, according to the churchs website.
Other important landmarks include the Castle Clinton National Monument, the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall National Memorial.
Built in preparation for the War of 1812 on the southern end of Battery Park, Castle Clinton previously served as an entertainment center, immigration depot and aquarium. Today, more than three million visitors stop by annually.
Symbolizing the hub of American finance, the New York Stock Exchange building is noted for its neoclassical style and six Corinthian columns, though the hectic trading floor inside is closed to the public post-9/11.
The Federal Hall National Memorial is a museum, paying homage to its history as the nations first Congress, Supreme Court and executive branch headquarters.
Long gone are the days of FiDi clearing out come 6 p.m. Instead, eateries for every budget and a diverse range of bars dot the nabe.
Delmonicos, an acclaimed FiDi mainstay, serves classic Italian-American steakhouse staples, but the charm of the old-world is sometimes lost among the overwhelming crowds and exorbitant pricing.
MarkJoseph Steakhouse prides itself on its high-quality steak and seafood, and is more budget-friendly.
Between the historical setting and bustling nightlife, the Financial District is a popular place to live.
Fraunces Tavern Museum
This building’s significance dates back to the Revolutionary War. Highlights include the Long Room, which is where George Washington gave his final speech to his officers, and the Clinton Room, a re-creation of a Federalist-style dining room. There are also exhibitions about the Sons of the Revolution and early American flags. Bonus: the museum is connected to an excellent old-school tavern and restaurant.
The National Museum of the American Indian -- New York
A component of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian explores 12,000 years of Native American history and culture with collections of artwork and artifacts and traveling exhibits. Visiting the museum is free.
Another supremely historical Financial District spot, Battery Park was the first defensive post taken by early Dutch settlers and, during the 19th century, an important immigration center. Today, Battery Park offers numerous dog-friendly pathways, some spectacular waterfront views and 53,000 square feet of gardens, known as the Bosque.