New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Birth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
Location: † Broad Street
Dutch Name: † Heere Gracht
Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant had workmen create the Gracht, or Canal, here on the site of a small creek during the 1650s. The canal stretched from near todayís Exchange Place to the East River shore at Pearl Street. Townspeople built bridges crossing it at what are now Beaver Street, Stone Street, and Bridge Street. The canal provided security against fires, bringing a supply of water into the heart of the town.
Canals were a key feature of the landscape in the Netherlands, where waterways allowed passengers and cargoes to travel through busy cities. The name of this modest channel was taken from the Heere Gracht in Amsterdam, one of Europeís grandest canals, lined with the mansions of rich merchants.
Some of the townís notable institutions lined the street running along the canal. These included the elementary school, the Latin school for older students, and the deaconís house for the poor, one of New Yorkís first social services. But the canal gradually became a polluted nuisance. In 1676 it was filled in and became the street you see today.
Erected 2009 by City Lore & NY 400.
Location. 40° 42.377′ N, 74° Touch for map. Marker is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Broad Street and Exchange Place. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10005, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Latin School of New Amsterdam (within shouting distance of this marker); New York Stock Exchange (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named New York Stock Exchange (within shouting distance of this marker); Let Freedom Ring (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); J.P. Morgan Building (about 300 feet away); J. P. Morgan (about 300 feet away); City Hall to U.S.Capitol / Money Men / Nassau Changes Scale (about 300 feet away); On this site in Federal Hall (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. A picture of settlers living along the canal appears at the top of the marker. It has a caption of “The Heere Gracht and the East River shore in 1659, as visualized by a 19th-century artist. The actual canal was an inlet with wooden boards along its sides, not the elegant waterway imagined here.” The lower left
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Learn about New York Cityís colonial Dutch heritage by taking a virtual tour of the Nieuw Amsterdam Trail though lower Manhattan.
Also see . . . City Lore website. City Lore's mission is to foster New York's - and America's - living cultural heritage. (Submitted on November 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 811 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.