The Financial District also known by locals as ‘FiDi’, is the southernmost tip of Manhattan just below Tribeca, and often thought of as a more affordable alternative to it. FiDi residents appreciate proximity to best transportation hub in the city, with almost every subway line passing through it.
This is where the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam began in 1624, and the origin of New York City. The Dutch gave the city it’s original street plan and many of lower Manhattan’s names like Beaver, Pearl, and Nassau evoking the days when New York was a small colonial trading post. Bowling Green is where Dutch cattle grazed, and British solders trained during the American Revolution. Today’s center of global finance Wall Street, was literally it’s north-most border where the fortified wall of the city stood; and the widest street ‘de Heere Straat’ is today the beginning of lower ‘Broadway’. FiDi is home to many important modern and Landmarked historic sites, including The New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, and the World Trade Center Memorial. St. Paul’s Chapel on lower Broadway near Fulton is the only surviving building from the Colonial Period, but other notable architecture includes: Trinity Church, Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building, and contemporary work like architect Santiago Calatrava’s ‘Oculus’, and a Frank Gehry residential tower on Spruce Street. FiDi’s great museums include the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian in the old Customs House on Broadway, and the of course, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on the World Trade Center site. Today, monolithic glass and steel buildings create canyons on the horse-drawn scale of the original Dutch street grid. Located on the southern tip of, it is bounded by the Hudson River, Chambers Street/City Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge on the northeast, the East River and The Battery on the southernmost edge.
Most locals will generally call anything south of Chambers Street FiDi, including the Landmarked South Street Seaport Historic District, which is a distinctive part of FiDi. The Seaport was once part of the city’s shipping infrastructure and the former home of the famous Fulton Fish Market (now in the Bronx). The old market has ceded residency to shopping malls featuring food, fashion, and nightlife. In FiDi and the Seaport, the historic and the new coexist in a modern-mixed-use neighborhood, with former warehouses adapted to new use as loft homes, stores, and restaurants. Some of the oldest architecture and sights in downtown Manhattan can be found here, with the most restored early 19th-century commercial properties in the city; including often beautifully renovated mercantile buildings. It is a sub-set of the Financial District bounded it on its west, the East River; and Two Bridges on the northeast