New York City has been regarded as the United States financial capital and the Wall Street, being the center of the city?s financial district, became ?money capital of America?. Along with NASDAQ, the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies, is situated on Wall Street.
Many believe that Wall Street got its name from the wall on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam (now New York) settlement, that was built starting from Pearl Street, which was the shoreline during the time of lining the Wall Street in 1685, traversing the Indian path Broadway and ending at the other shoreline (known today as the Trinity Place). The wall was constructed to protect Dutch dwellers against violence from several Native American tribes. Another version of the story tells that the name Wall Street was derived from Dutch-named ?de Waal Straat?, wherein Waal being an abbreviation for Walloon, a tribe who is among the first settlers that boarded the ship ?Nieu Nederlandt? in 1624.
In its early years, business has flourished in the street that soon became a financial region. In the years after the Revolutionary War, due to its proximity to each other, traders and investors would assemble to trade securities under a buttonwood tree that sat at the foot of Wall Street. With the idea of making the market more "structured" and "without the manipulative auctions", the Buttonwood Association was formed in 1792 through the Buttonwood Agreement which also gave birth to the New York Stock Exchange. When George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789, the balcony of the Federal Hall on Wall Street was chosen as the venue for the United States? first presidential inauguration. Wall Street was also witness to the passing of the Bill of Rights.
In the first few decades of the nineteenth century, businesses increasingly dominated the Wall Street area; this was specially caused by the opening of the Erie Canal. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Wall Street has become the spot for large financial organizations and other giant corporations. The buildings that line up along the street give it a ?unique personality? and its own distinctive skyline.
J.P. Morgan was one of the pioneer Wall Street investors who built headquarters like the one at 23 Wall Street, which was - for decades - the most important financial institution in the country. Aside from the columned Federal Hall and the impressive neo-classic style of the New York Stock Exchange building, the decorative 40 Wall Street, once home to the Bank of Manhattan, is similarly outstanding.
One of the most prominent symbols found on the Wall Street is the Charging Bull Statue, which is the most iconic representation of the ?bull market? (meaning a constantly rising market). The statue is a 7,000-pound masterpiece inspired by the 1987 stock market crash. Its sculptor placed the statue in front of the New York Stock Exchange without authorization. Police removed the sculpture but subsequently reinstalled it to its current location in Bowling Green, attracting thousands of visitors.