There’s more to New York City’s Financial District
than money. (Yes, really). In the shadows of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange lie some surprising FiDi finds, including an abandoned subway station, an elevated park, and a historic New York landmark hidden in plain sight.
If it was good enough for American founding father George Washington, it’s good enough for New Yorkers. Since 1762, Fraunces Tavern has been fueling FiDi with colonial classics, such as Scotch eggs, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips. Raise a glass to New York City’s oldest standing structure at the tavern’s bar, offering over 200 whiskeys, 130 craft beers and ciders, and much more.
Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 968 1776
Working on Wall Street comes with more than its fair share of stresses. Luckily, frazzled FiDi locals (and in-the-know visitors like yourself) can find reprieve at the Elevated Acre. This full-acre park, situated three stories above the bustling streets, features a beer garden, world-class landscaping, and magnificent vistas of the East River, Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Elevated Acre, 55 Water St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 747 9120
William Barthman sidewalk clock
William Barthman’s sidewalk clock, created in 1896, is one innovation that’s stood the test of time. It was during the 19th century when standing sidewalk clocks dominated Manhattan’s Financial District that the 1884-established William Barthman Jeweler company conceived its groundbreaking (literally) advertising campaign. Today, Barthman’s clock is still ticking where it’s embedded in the pavement outside the jeweler’s store.
William Barthman, 176 Broadway, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 732 0890
77 Water Street
In Manhattan’s Financial District, don’t judge a book by its cover—or a structure by its façade. One of many nondescript office buildings in the area, 77 Water Street proves it’s what’s inside that counts. The 26-story office tower features a turn-of-the-century-style candy shoppe, a plaza complete with streams and footbridges, and an authentic steel replica of a World War I fighter plane.
77 Water Street, New York, NY, USA
The abandoned City Hall Station
Before there were graffitied ads and high-tech train maps, New York City subway stations had a far different appearance. When the Interborough Rapid Transit Company first opened the subway in 1904, the now-abandoned City Hall Station boasted an upscale design, complete with vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, and colored glass tiles. Today, curious commuters can still glimpse the shuttered station as the train loops back around or even embark on a guided tour given by the New York City Transit Museum.
The oldest fence in New York City
It may surprise camera-toting tourists to learn that just behind FiDi’s famous Charging Bull statue lies another New York City landmark. Built in 1771, the city’s oldest fence was installed to guard a sculpture of King George III against anti-English protesters. The fence, constructed of wrought iron, still stands today, minus the decorative royal crowns, which the Sons of Liberty sawed off in protest in 1776.
Kids (and kids at heart) will love the SeaGlass Carousel, The Battery’s take on throwback entertainment with a modern edge. Just opened in 2015, the Carousel is still being discovered by riders, who happily take it for a spin—or a swim. As it features 30 fiberglass fish spanning 12 species, a changing LED light display, and speakers projecting aquatic sounds and music, the ride takes you on a deep dive into on-shore amusement.
SeaGlass Carousel, State St & Water St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 344 3491
Trinity Place Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$