Making Lower Manhattan Your Cultural Destination, Every Step of the Way

Annaline Dinkelmann
This week, Lower Manhattan cultural leaders gathered at the Museum of American Finance to unveil the Downtown Culture Pass—a three-day ticket that provides admission, shop discounts and other benefits at eight Lower Manhattan museums plus historic tours from Wall Street Walks. The seasonal deal runs through February 28.

Annaline Dinkelmann, the Owner and President of Wall Street Walks, is one of the participants, and offered her insight into Downtown discoveries.

By Annaline Dinkelmann

During a visit to a Downtown museum or on a walking tour, you will see and learn some very cool and fun facts. Use the new Culture Pass and see what I mean. All museums are within walking distance of each other.  Below are my top fun facts:

-When walking Downtown, you are more than likely walking on the very same streets as the Dutch during the 1600s. Many of the original streets still exist.

-You can see the foundation of the Lovelace Tavern, built during the 1670s, under the old Goldman Sachs headquarters building at the corner of Coenties Slip and Pearl Street, Pearl Street used to be the shoreline. And look where the shoreline is today—almost 300 feet away!

-The yellow bricks in the walls of the Fraunces Tavern Museum are from a quarry outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands. During the 1600s, when boats sailed to New York, they used the bricks as ballast. Upon arrival, they were reused to build houses for the settlers. The bricks on the second floor, between the windows on the Broad Street side of the building, are original and date back to the1600s.
Visit the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site and record where you were on 9/11/2001. The recordings will be available when the museum opens in a few years.

-Not all business started on Wall Street. Joseph Gayetty, a New Yorker, invented toilet paper and started selling it in his store at 41 Ann Street during 1857. He was so pleased with his invention, he printed his name on the sheets.

Victoria Woodhull—the first woman to open a brokerage house and the first woman to run for President, in 1872, a time when women couldn’t vote—had her office at 44 Broad Street.

-So many people worked in the World Trade Center towers that each building had its own zip code.

-Outside The New York City Police Museum are green lamps. During the 17th century, the Rattle Watchmen, who patrolled New Amsterdam, carried lanterns at night with green glass sides in them as a means of identification. When the watchmen returned to the watch house after patrol, they hung their lanterns on a hook by the front door to show hat the watchman was in. Today green lamps can be found outside many police stations in the United States.

-After hearing the Declaration of Independence read on July 9, 1776, at City Hall, Revolutionaries stormed down Broadway to Bowling Green Park and pulled down the Statue of King George on his horse. The bronze crowns on the fence were also removed. The crowns, with some parts of the horse, were later melted into musket balls and used as bullets against the British during the Revolutionary War. The original tail of the horse survived and can be seen at the Fraunces Tavern Museum.

-From Battery Park you can best see the old John D. Rockefeller skyscraper at 26 Broadway. The black oil urn, still in place on the roof, used to have oil burning day and night, giving way to the expression that Rockefeller had money to burn.

-The oldest Jewish congregation in America, Shearith Israel, established in 1654, used to be just off where Stone Street is today.

-The first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, lived on Whitehall Street about a hundred years after Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor.

-The AIG (formerly Cities Services) building on Pine Street used to have a Wall Street address. How? By using a sky bridge to connect to a building on Wall Street.

Wall Street Walks specializes in financial and historical walking tours of Downtown Manhattan. For more information, visit www.WallStreetWalks.com. All tours are discounted 50% with the “Downtown Culture Pass”—a ticket, good for three days, that provides reduced admission or other benefits at seven downtown museums. The new Pass makes exploring downtown a conveniently unified experience—and a bargain as well. For more information, visit www.downtownculturepass.org