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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Marketplace

 
 
The Marketplace Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 14, 2019
1. The Marketplace Marker
Inscription.  
The US Custom House stands on the same ground as Fort Amsterdam, which was occupied by the Dutch in 1626 to secure their control for trade in the increasingly valuable harbor. At that time, the Dutch depended upon the native people – not only for pelts sold throughout Europe, but for their very survival. Native knowledge of the area and the trade routes was indispensable. However, Fort Amsterdam soon became the site of frequent conflict between the Dutch and native people. It was also the site of battles between the Dutch and other Europeans. In 1664, the Dutch lost the island to the English, who renamed it New York.

Since nearby Wall Street was named for a wall built in 1653 by the Dutch settlers to keep out the “northern Indians” (probably Manicans and Munsees), it is ironic that the US Custom House should again become a gathering place and a center for peaceful cultural exchange between the native people of the Americas and the world. Here, near the crowded, shouting financial market of Wall Street, the many living and colorful marketplaces of the native world converge again, this time at the National Museum
The Marketplace marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, December 1, 2018
2. The Marketplace marker site
The marker bank to the right of the entrance.
of the American Indian.
 
Location. 40° 42.266′ N, 74° 0.83′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on State Street near Bowling Green, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. The marker is one of several in a bank to the right of the main entrance to the National Museum of the American Indian. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “North America” sculpted by Daniel Chester French (here, next to this marker); Places of Exchange (here, next to this marker); Sharing the Circle (here, next to this marker); George Gustav Heye (here, next to this marker); American Merchant Marine (here, next to this marker); Drawn To The City (a few steps from this marker); ...to Manhattan (a few steps from this marker); From Menatay... (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. The lettering has faded so much that the marker is very difficult to read.
 
Regarding The Marketplace. The building is listed in the "AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition".
 
Categories. Colonial EraIndustry & CommerceNative Americans
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 14, 2019
3. Inset
At the center of the Custom House is the building’s rotunda. A 140-ton skylight illuminates the 1917 (sic) murals of New York harbor by artist Reginald March.
Mural panel image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 16, 2016
4. Mural panel
Despite the previous caption, the mural shown at the far right above is dated 1937.
Insert image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 14, 2019
5. Insert
The rotunda, where customs agents once worked, was recently the site of native dance performances, such as those by southern Plains Indians.
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 14, 2019
6. Inset
Two contemporary markets – the colorful Andean marketplace and the “trading floor” of the New York Stock Exchange here in lower Manhattan - share an ever-increasing dependence on monetary and cultural exchange.
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, March 14, 2019
7. Inset
The keystone that now sits above the Museum’s main entrance was sculpted by Vincenzo Alfano in 1903 (left). Contemporary native carver, Tim Paul (Hesquiaht) continues the tradition of totem carving at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada (right).
The National Museum of the American Indian (and Federal Bankruptcy Court) image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 1999
8. The National Museum of the American Indian (and Federal Bankruptcy Court)
Formerly the Alexander Hamilton Custom House. The marker bank is to the right of the entrance.
 
More. Search the internet for The Marketplace.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 118 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on March 20, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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