Wall Street, located, at the southern tip of Manhattan, is the financial district and, in some respects, the most impressive part of New York. Here you really feel you're at the very heart of the world's greatest power. The skyscrapers, closer together than elsewhere, look all the more massive, and the streets are veritable canyons.
Wall Street itself got its name from the stockade (really a wall of boards) built here in 1653 by the Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant to protect New Amsterdam from the Indians. It didn't do much good because the settlers persisted in carting off planks for their own uses. Today Wall Street is the home of all the big banks in the world of finance. No address anywhere holds greater prestige. Among those with head offices here are Chase Manhattan and Morgan Guaranty Trust.
On the corner of Wall and Nassau streets is the Federal Hall National Memorial. The original building, demolished in 1812, was for a year the home of the United States Congress. On April 30, 1789. George Washington took the oath as the first president of the United States here. Federal Hall is open daily from 9 a. M. to 4.30 p.m. (closed on weekends in winter). Admission is free.