History & Culture
This is where it all began, though survivors from New York’s, and before it New Amsterdam’s, early days are hard to find. The most visible legacy is the street plan, with Broadway and Wall, Bridge, and other streets following the same routes as they have for centuries. Though it has been redesigned over the centuries, Bowling Green is the site where Dutch cattle grazed and redcoats trained. St. Paul’s Chapel, on Broadway near Fulton, is the only surviving building from before 1776 in its original, largely unaltered state. Still, there are impressive buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries (Trinity Church, Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building) and dazzling contemporary works by leading architects (Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus, Frank Gehry’s New York building). Of the Financial District’s museums, two stand out: the Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian, in the old Customs House on Broadway, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.