Running a narrow, winding path from Broadway in the west to South Street and in the east, Wall Street is considered to be the financial heart of the city. As the name implies, it is named after a barrier constructed by settlers to fence the area off from neighboring villages and tribes.
Originally known in Dutch as “Het Cingel” or “the Belt” when it was part of New Amsterdam in the 17th century, it was protected by a wall that was constructed under orders from Director General of the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant, at the start of the first Anglo-Dutch war soon after New Amsterdam was incorporated in 1653.
On December 13, 1711, that the New York City Common Council made a market at the foot of Wall Street the city’s first official slave market for the sale and rental of enslaved Africans and Indians. The slave market operated from 1711 to 1762 at the corner of Wall and Pearl Streets. It was a wooden structure with a roof and open sides. The city directly benefited from the sale of slaves by implementing taxes on every person who was bought and sold there.
In 1789, Wall Street was the scene of the United States’ first presidential inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. This was also the location of the passing of the Bill of Rights. Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Treasury secretary and “architect of the early United States financial system”, is buried in the cemetery of Trinity Church
In the early 19th century, both residences and businesses occupied the area, but increasingly business predominated, and New York City’s financial industry became centered on Wall Street. In the 20th century, several early skyscrapers were built on Wall Street, including 40 Wall Street, once the world’s tallest building.
Today the Wall Street area is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by total market capitalization, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and many commercial banks and insurance companies making it a nexus for commerce, not just in the city, but around the world.
Illustration of a man posting a notice regarding the building of Wall Street on March 31, 1644, rallying local colonists to join together to build a wall to fend off attacks by natives.
A wall constructed along the city's northernmost boundary, erected back in 1653 between the Hudson and East River to protect the town from marauding tribes.
Illustration of George Washington arriving at Wall Street in a horse and carriage.
View of Wall Street with storefronts and Trinity Church in the distance. A sign of printer "Wm. D. Roe & Co." (at 59 Wall Street) is visible in the foreground.
A lone silhouette under a shaded pedestrian overpass is captured against the backdrop of Wall Street's ferry and Brooklyn in the distance
A photograph of the piers at Wall Street with two large boats docked and a Colgate carriage with horses parked on the promenade.
Photograph of pedestrians and horse drawn carriages on Wall Street looking, east from Nassau Street.
A photograph of pedestrians on Wall Street with Trinity Church in the background.
Photograph of pedestrians on Wall Street with Trinity Church in the background.
Photograph of the National City Bank, located at 55 Wall Street, New York City.
Photograph of a packed floor at the New York City Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
Learn all about NYC’s distant past as "Mannahatta" or the "Island of Many Hills".
Research the natural forces that shaped the environment, along with the people who formed the landscape and culture.
Welcome to the History of New York City - A Unique Online Gallery of NYC's Origins, Curated and Digitally Restored by Fine Print New York.
We're opening our archives to present this Collection of Vintage Photos, Historical Images and Rare Lithographs. This Exclusive Series of High Quality Art Prints are only Available for Purchase Exclusively on this Site.
We cover a great portion of the city's history, ranging from its earliest days as New Amsterdam to the late 1980s. Artists are currently working on photos from the 90s to present day,
Here's a current list of what is covered:
Art prints are engineered to stand out. They are are digital restorations of photographs, lithographs, paintings and other historic works of art. These prints require a higher resolution press than standard posters, and are printed on archival-quality paper or a flat textured wallpaper substrate.
Yes, Art prints are typically more expensive than posters. Considering the additional value in both execution and material, along with the exclusive nature of this collection. While many of the images on this site were originally public domain, most of them were damaged or of subpar quality. Our graphic designers have spent countless hours restoring each one to current HD standards.
It is rare to encounter this level of curation, or the restorative drive required to retouch hundreds of photos by hand. There are already tons of online poster shops who gladly sell you cheap prints, but we're definitely not that type of shop and believe our pricing to be a of fair value for the quality being produced.
Discounts for Educational Institutions are available upon inquiry.
Digital licenses are available for educational institutions (schools, universities, non-profit organizations). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss conditions for licensing.
NOTE: Any form of commercialization or redistribution of these images, either as tangible goods or third party licenses, is expressly forbidden.
Joseph Gornail, printer/photographer and founder of Fine Print New York. Joseph grew up in SoHo, Manhattan and is part of a long lineage of NYC printers, learning the family trade from his grandfather. While working for Dolo Records/Stretch Armstrong in 1996, Joseph founded All City Marketing & Printing, and in 1999 Co-Founded the legendary street wear company "Orchard Street " with lifelong friends Benjamin Holloway and Greig Bennett. Fine Print NYC was established in 2004 with a Nike project being the launchpad for a commercial printing company that has not only survived, but thrived in the digital age.
Steven Garcia, designer/illustrator and creative director of Fine Print New York. Born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Steven attended Fashion Industries High School and F.I.T. before building a successful career at Saatchi & Saatchi for as a professional retoucher and storyboard artist in 1995. Steven started ShinyDesign in 1998 and partnered with Fine Print in 2004 as the exclusive design firm for the company. Steven has independently worked on major advertising campaigns for many brands over the years, such as Snapple, The Waldorf Astoria and Sony to name a few.
Together, Joseph & Steven are responsible for the curation and direction of the History101.nyc project, which has been under development since 2006. They have a long history of collaborating together, going back as far as 2001 when Joseph was gallery manager and Steven was a curator at The New York City Urban Experience, an art gallery & museum that was located at 85 South Street and owned by Mike Saes of the Nike Bridge Runners and True Yorkers.
315 Madison Avenue • NYC 10017 • (212)619-5446 • email@example.com
History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge.
This project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating heritage through the restoration of vintage photographs and prints.