New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
48 Wall Street / 40 Wall Street
What more appropriate home for the Museum of American Finance than the grand, 30-foot-high banking hall of the former Bank of New York building? The museum – an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution – is the only one of its kind in America. Effectively serving as the New York Stock Exchange’s de facto visitors’ center, the museum displays permanent interactive exhibits on finance, money, entrepreneurship and banking. These feature rare examples of Colonial currency, stock and bond certificates dating from the 18th century to the present; high denomination currency including $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bills; and hundreds of images of the financial district. The museum includes a room dedicated to Hamilton, founder of the bank and the country’s first Treasury Secretary.
48 Wall Street
The Bank of New York – oldest bank in the city, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton – commissioned a new headquarters (their third on this site) in 1927. The Bank instructed architect Benjamin Wistar Morris to incorporate something of the institution’s Colonial history in the design. That history is evident inside the main banking hall, where eight murals by J. Monroe Hewlett illustrate the story of American commerce
This 20th-century skyscraper has roots in late-18th-century New York, and the historic rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Burr, in 1799, helped found the Manhattan Company, chartered to bring the city safe drinking water. Hamilton in 1784 had organized the Bank of New York, the city’s only such institution, and frowned on the notion of creating a rival. Being a State assemblyman, however, Burr finagled permission from the Legislature for the newly formed Manhattan Company to devote any capital it might raise beyond two million dollars to a different kind of liquidity, thereby becoming the city’s second bank. Eventually, the Bank of Manhattan – having long since abandoned the water business – merged with the Chase National Bank to create Chase Manhattan, a titan on New York’s financial scene.
During the 1920s, the Bank of Manhattan engaged in another famous rivalry – for the title of World’s Tallest Building. In 1929, the contest narrowed to just two contenders,
Erected by The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
Location. 40° 42.383′ N, 74° 0.568′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Wall Street and William Street, on the left when traveling east on Wall Street. Touch for map. Marker is located on the northeast corner of Wall Street and William Street. 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. Andries Rees’s Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Bank of New York & Trust Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 40 Wall Street Federal Hall National Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Federal Hall National Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); On this site in Federal Hall (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ohio Company of Associates (about 400 feet away); New York Stock Exchange (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. Several photographs appear on the 48 Wall Street side of the marker, including two of the J. Monroe Hewlett murals and the decorative, curving staircase in the Museum of American Finance; a picture of 48 Wall Street from above; and the earliest known photograph of Wall Street.
The reverse side of the marker contain two images of 40 Wall Street on the left. The first shows the tower from above, while the second depicts a dramatically shaded rendering by Hugh Ferriss showing 40 Wall Street towering over the financial district of an earlier era. The bottom right of the marker features an image of an invitation to the banquet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Manhattan
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers in lower Manhattan erected by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,176 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2. submitted on November 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 3. submitted on November 9, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 4, 5. submitted on November 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.