Lower Manhattan , Manhattan : NYC Tourist Guide

Lower Manhattan , Manhattan, in NYC, New York, USA

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Lower Manhattan , Manhattan, New York City

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Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York. Lower Manhattan is generally defined as the area delineated on the north by Chambers Street, on the west by the North River (Hudson River), on the east by the East River, and on the south by Battery Park and New York Harbor (also known as Upper New York Bay). Lower Manhattan includes Wall Street, City Hall, the Municipal Building, the Financial District and the site of the World Trade Center. It is the fourth largest central business district in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan, Chicago's Loop, and Washington D.C.. The neighborhood was previously the third largest CBD. Lower Manhattan's fall to fourth place can be attributed by the district's loss of the World Trade Center, which contributed over 16 million square feet of office space to the area. The square footage lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was equivalent to the office space in the entire city of Cincinnati in 2001. It is expected that Downtown will regain its third place ranking after the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, which is expected to yield close to the original center's square footage of rentable commercial space, and the construction of financial firm Goldman Sachs' new headquarters.


The Dutch established the first European settlements in Manhattan, which were located at the lower end of the island.The first fort was built at the Battery to protect New Netherland. In 1771, Bear Market was established along the Hudson shore on land donated by Trinity Church, and replaced by Washington Market in 1813. Washington Market was located between Barclay and Hubert Streets, and from Greenwich to West Street. Throughout the 1900's and 20's the area experienced a construction boom, towers such as 40 Wall Street, American International Building, Woolworth Building, and 20 Exchange Place were completed in the 1900's and 30's. At the end of the 1950s, Lower Manhattan had become economically depressed, in comparison with Midtown Manhattan which was booming. In the 1950s, a few new buildings were constructed in Lower Manhattan, including an 11-story building at 156 William Street in 1955. A 27-story office building at 20 Broad Street, a 12-story building at 80 Pine Street, a 26-story building at 123 William Street, and a few others were built in 1957. David Rockefeller spearheaded widespread urban renewal efforts in Lower Manhattan, beginning with construction One Chase Manhattan Plaza, the new headquarters for his bank.

He established the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association (DLMA) which drew up plans for broader revitalization of Lower Manhattan, with the development of a world trade center at the heart of these plans. The original DLMA plans called for the "world trade center" to be built along the East River, between Old Slip and Fulton Street. After negotiations with New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes, the Port Authority ended up deciding to build the World Trade Center on a site along the Hudson River and the West Side Highway, rather than the East River site.

Through much of its history, the downtown area was mainly a commercial district, with a small population of residents. In 1960, there were approximately 4,000 residents living downtown. Construction of Battery Park City brought in many new residents to Lower Manhattan. The Complex started construction in the 1980's from landfill from construction of the World Trade Center. The Gateway Plaza, the first complex to be completed in Battery Park City was completed in 1983. The World Financial Center was the main centerpiece of the project, consisting of four luxurious highrise towers. By the turn of the century, Battery Park City was mostly completed, with the exception of some ongoing construction on West Street. By the late 90's and early 2000's Lower Manhattan was fully developed and reached its highest population of business tenants and residents.

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NYC's waterfront is roughly 600 miles long and the overall form of the Harbor has remained unchanged from the time of Giovanni da Verrazzano. Learn more about the harbor, its shores and its waterways.

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History and Politics of NYC

Did you know that New York City was briefly the U.S. capital during 1789-90 and was state capital until 1797?

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Culture of Gotham City

The culture of NYC is shaped by centuries of immigration, the city's size and variety, and its status as the cultural capital of the United States.

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Travel & Transportation

The dominant mode of transportation in New York City is mass transit - Subways and Buses. However, it is the Taxicabs that are real New York icons!

Safety & Security

How safe is New York City? Contrary to popular belief, the City consistantly ranks in the top ten safest large cities in the United States. The NYPD is the largest municipal police force in the world and has it's own Movie/TV Unit.

New York Climate

New York has a humid continental climate resulting from prevailing wind patterns that bring cool air from the interior of the North American continent. New York winters are typically cold with moderate snowfall.
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New York's two key demographic features are its density and diversity. The New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel. It is also home to nearly a quarter of the nation's South Asians, and the largest African American community of any city in the country.
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