Wall Street

Origins of Wall Street

Wall Street wasn’t born with white shoes and cigars.  When the Dutch first arrived in 1614, they barely managed to survive the winter; then the onslaught of disease, the random attacks from hostile Indians, the steady incursion of British settlers from New England and Long Island—the odds were stacked against it.  The very name “Wall Street,” though no one thinks of it anymore, came from the wall those frightened settlers built to defend themselves from attack.

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Bronze Doors of 20 Exchange Place

The City Bank-Farmer’s Trust Building was completed in 1931 and its bronze art-deco doors display the modern and ancient agents of commerce.  In those days, it was common for banks to display neo-classical representations of the industries they supported.


On the inside are the old agents of commerce – a caravel like the ones Columbus used and which are represented on New York State’s shield; an early locomotive and a hot air balloon.  On the outside are an ocean liner, a modern locomotive and the airplane, which back in the days of Lindberg had captured everyone’s imagination.

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Captain Kidd – First Pirate of Wall Street

This crossing was home to the first pirate of Wall St–one William Kidd.  Captain Kidd made for an unlikely pirate.  Born the son of a Scottish minister, he became a prosperous merchant and sea captain, married one of the wealthiest widows in New York, and became an elder of Trinity Church.




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