Financial District

The Financial District is where New York City’s architectural diversity started, and where it still flourishes thanks to preservation. From West Street east to Water Street, Cedar Street south to Battery Park, it seems that every other building is a past or future landmark. Nothing that I write here even comes close to doing the district justice.

Recycling seems to be a big part of the area’s preservation: Office buildings that might otherwise have been razed have been converted to condos, hotels and even schools. Notable examples include 21 West Street, Whitehall Building, Delmonico’s, Cipriani Club Residences, Bank of New York Building, Downtown by Philippe Starck, and Empire Apartments. I suppose that if you’re a top exec in the Financial District, it’s nice to be able to walk to work. But where do you shop for fresh food? I didn’t notice any supermarkets….

Photographers will find lots to snap – and lots of challenges. The “canyons” metaphor is so appropriate for the Wall Street area – tall buildings and very narrow streets: Some building facades are in almost perpetual shadow; some of the most interesting architectural details can only be seen from blocks away. Post-9/11 and Occupy Wall Street barricades limit your viewpoints. Last but not least, this is a huge tourist attraction, so resign yourself: A photo of the George Washington statue or the Bull at Bowling Green will include goofy strangers in sometimes weird poses.

NOTE: This gallery has 200 images.

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