The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
A STREET OF BANKS
Moses King, King's Views of New York Stock Exchange, pg. 67
An iconic view of Wall Street in the 1850s looking west towards Broadway and the towering steeple of Richard Upjohn's 1846 Trinity Church. The image clearly reflects a scene much changed from half a century before, with commercial buildings of an immense magnitude splitting and conquering the blocks of Wall Street. In fact, following the Great Fire of 1835, most of lower Manhattan east of Broadway was rapidly replacing residential buildings for commercial buildings, in the classical architectural styles of Greek and Roman temples as seen in this picture. The Great Fire of 1835 had allowed a proper and orderly design of buildings and straightening and widening of streets in lower Manhattan that always seemed to wrestle with the rest of the island's grid system. Following the fire, almost all the houses on Wall Street and Broad Street were demolished by 1842, with the only family living on Wall Street occupying a space above a bank. Similarly, every house on Pine Street was demolished. On Pearl Street, every number above 57 was home to a commercial building. All in all, the area became densely packed with commercial buildings. The phrase, "Financial District," was epitomized by Wall Street in the 1850s, which was the densest of these commercial streets.