New York Songlines:Liberty Street

Called Crown Street in colonial days, it was renamed in 1794 to a name more befitting the new republic.



North Yacht Cove

battery park city by h-bomb, on Flickr A manmade harbor for, yes, yachts, including Forbes' 151-foot The Highlander. Built in 1989 and reopened in 2005 after clearing out debris from September 11, which sunk several boats here.

Battery Park City

Battery Park City by saitowitz, on Flickr

A 92-acre planned neighborhood built on landfill from the construction of the World Trade Center. Based on a 1979 master plan that tied the new area into the existing Manhattan grid, the result is one of the most appealing and livable examples of modern urban development.



Pumphouse Park

NYC - Battery Park City: Monsignor John J. Kowsky Plaza - Berlin Wall by wallyg, on Flickr The park in this section of Battery Park City got its name from being built over the water intake/outflow pipes for the World Trade Center complex. It's got a section of the Berlin Wall, a gift from the German consulate in 2004.

The park has been formally renamed for Monsignor John J. Kowsky, a Roman Catholic priest who became a colonel in the U.S. Army and a chaplain for the NYPD. He was an advocate for the death penalty, which is a strange thing for a Catholic priest to advocate for. He died of a heart attack in 1988, at the age of 66.


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South:

1 World Financial Center

One World Financial Center, Manhattan by rosebennet, on Flickr

This 1985 building, 40 stories with a mastaba on top, houses Dow Jones (publishers of the Wall Street Journal, now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp) and Oppenheimer & Company.

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2 World Financial Center

2 World Financial Center by jay.sustain, on Flickr

225 (block): This 1987 building is 57 stories crowned with a dome. It houses the Merrill Lynch World Headquarters, as well as offices of Commerzbank, Deloitte & Touche and France Telecom.



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South:

Site of St. Nicholas Church

Built in 1832 as a private residence and later serving as a tavern, this 22-by-56-foot building was bought in 1916 and turned, with the addition of a bell tower, into a Greek Orthodox church. By 2001, the church was the sole survivor on a block that had otherwise become a parking lot--but the building was unable to survive the September 11 attacks, toppled by the rubble of 2 WTC.


S <=== WASHINGTON ST

Deutsche Bank Building

Deutsche Bank Tower by forbesphotographer, on Flickr

Block (130 Liberty Street): This building, built in 1974 as Bankers Trust Plaza, was acquired by Deutsche Bank in a 1999 merger. It was hit by falling debris from the South Tower during the September 11 attacks, leaving the building unusable while the bank and its insurance company argued about whether the building was a total loss. Demolition finally began in 2007--and was halted in May when debris struck the fire station next door and injured two firefighters.

Corner: St. Nicholas Church is supposed to be rebuilt on this spot, surrounded by a new Liberty Park.


S <===     GREENWICH ST

FDNY Ten House

NYC - FDNY Ten House by wallyg, on Flickr

124 (corner): The closest firehouse to the World Trade Center complex houses Engine Company 10 and Ladder Company 10--both organized in 1865, and moving here in 1980 and 1984, respectively. Five firefighters from this house lost their lives on September 11. The firehouse itself was heavily damaged by the attacks, but was rebuilt and reopened in November 2003.

Tribute WTC 9/11

120: A visitors' center and gallery set up by the September 11th Families' Association.

114: United Rentals. This building was the subject of the documentary Liberty Street: Alive at Ground Zero.

112: Essex World Cafe

110: Coast, lunch spot

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Ground Zero

Site of 3 WTC

World Trade Center & Marriott Hotel by David Paul Ohmer, on Flickr

This was the address of the Marriott World Trade Center, destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Opened in 1981 as the Vista Hotel, it took heavy damage in the 1993 attempt to bring down the World Trade towers. It was sold to Marriott in 1995.

Site of the South Tower

World Trade Center - South Tower by David Paul Ohmer, on Flickr

The WTC towers were not exactly twins; both were 110 stories, but the South Tower, WTC 2, was slightly shorter, at 1,362 feet. It did have the world's highest outdoor observation deck. Construction lasted from 1966-73; the towers opened in 1975. World Trade Center + Church 1983 by bfraz, on Flickr

It was hit by United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:05 a.m. and collapsed at 9:50. Five hundred and ninety-nine occupants of this tower were killed in the attack, only four of them below the 78th floor, the lowest hit by the plane.













Future Site of WTC Tower 4

World Trade Center Construction | Tower 4 by MichaelTapp, on Flickr

Corner: Here was the nine-story Commodities Exchange Building, WTC 4, destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Like WTC 7, the replacement building is going to have the same address: WTC Tower 4, a glassy, 72-story office tower designed by Fumihiko Maki. Scheduled to open in 2013, which would make it the first of the new WTC towers to be completed. This building will house the Port Authority's new headquarters, as well as half a million square feet of NYC government offices.


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South:

Liberty Plaza

Liberty Plaza Park - Man Walking by pixonomy, on Flickr

Once an uninviting "brutalist" vacancy that allowed 1 Liberty Plaza to justify its bulk--particularly after the September 11 attacks killed off all its trees--as of 2006, this privately owned park has been reimagined and reclad in pink granite. 04.JoieDeVivre.MarkDiSuvero.ZuccottiPark.NYC.05sep07 by ElvertBarnes, on Flickr A new sculpture has been added, the 70-foot high Joie de Vivre by Mark DiSuvero, whose bright red echoes the Noguchi across Broadway. Double Check, by J. Seward Johnson, a lifelike bronze of a seated stockbroker that became something of a symbol of survival after the September 11 attacks. One thing that didn't survive was the sign here marking Temple Street, which was eliminated in the 1960s.




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1 Liberty Plaza

One Liberty Plaza by edenpictures, on Flickr

165 (block): A hulk built by U.S. Steel (1971-73), designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill to show off the client's product--the facade is mainly steel. in 1971 for U.S. Steel. Owned for a time by Merrill Lynch, it also served as the headquarters of NASDAQ; now houses the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Singer Tower (demolished) from Library of Congress by whitewall buick, on Flickr

Torn down for 1 Liberty Plaza was the Singer Tower, a 1908 building by Ernest Flagg that housed the sewing machine company's headquarters. Briefly the tallest building in the world at 47 stories, it became the tallest building ever demolished when it was torn down in 1968. The handsome Second Empire structure is considered one of New York City's great architectural losses, up there with Penn Station.


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Marine Midland Building

Noguchi's Red Cube, far by Peter Kaminski, on Flickr

140 (block): This 1967 black-glass modernist skyscraper by Skidmore Owens & Merrill is considered to be more successful than their nearby Chase Manhattan Tower. (They also did Lever House and the Sears Tower, among many others.)

Marine Midland started out as the Marine Trust Company in 1850, a Buffalo-based company financing the Great Lakes grain trade. By 1929 it had become a bank holding company, eventually controlling dozens of local banks. In 1980 it was acquired by HSBC--the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

An anti-Vietnam War bombing here on August 20, 1969 injured 20 people. Red Cube & Yellow Ribbon - New York City, New York by Jose P Isern Comas, on Flickr

The red, off-kilter cube with a hole through it is Isamu Noguchi's Cube, a 1968 sculpture that is supposed to evoke rolling dice and hence the concept of chance.

























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Corner (150 Broadway): Westinghouse Building is on the former site of Wallach's department store. Dr. Barry Goldman, who has an office here, saved my life.

67: Liberty Gourmet

Chamber of Commerce Building

Chamber of Commerce Building 1 by KyjL, on Flickr

65: A Beaux Arts landmark erected by the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York in 1901 (James B. Baker, architect). The chamber moved out 1980; since 1991, it's been the International Commercial Bank of China.

59 (corner): Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President James Garfield in 1881, had a struggling law practice in an earlier building at this address in the early 1870s.


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Liberty Tower

NYC: Liberty Tower by wallyg, on Flickr

55 (block): Completed in 1910 to a Henry Ives Cobb design, this Gothic building clad in white terra cotta features fanciful eagles, lions and alligators. Now a co-op apartment building, it was Sinclair Oil's HQ from 1919-45; from here, in 1922, Harry Sinclair bribed Interior Secretary Albert Fall to secretly transfer control of government oil lands to him, in what became known as the Teapot Dome Scandal. Future President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a first-floor office here in the 1920s as vice president of the Fidelity and Deposit Insurance Company of Maryland.

Pound & Pence, an English pub, is on the ground floor.


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Chase Manhattan Plaza

One Chase Manhattan Plaza by j.d.rogers, on Flickr

Built in 1961 as headquarters for the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank, this 60-story, 813-foot aluminum and glass tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has 2.4 million square feet of office space, above and below ground. The project spans two city blocks, creating a gap in Cedar Street. 'Group of Four Trees'  by Sheila in Moonducks, on Flickr

The plaza features Jean Dubuffet's Four Trees and Isamu Noguchi's Sunken Garden.

The corner of Liberty and Nassau was the site of the Middle Dutch Church, established in 1727, and used by the British during the Revolution as a prison and riding school. On April 29, 1839, the 50th anniversary of Washington's inauguration was celebrated here, presided over by former President John Quincy Adams. In 1845, the building became a post office, which on July 1, 1847 issued the first U.S. stamps.

28-36: The site of the Livingston Sugar House, which the British used as a prison for Revolutionary soldiers from 1776 until 1783. The British liked to use sugar houses as prisons because they had thick stone walls and small windows; prisoners could often be found crowded around those windows trying to get some breathable oxygen. Demolished 1840.

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Federal Reserve Bank

Federal Reserve Bank of New York by niallkennedy, on Flickr

This is the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the wealthiest and most important of the 12 regional banks that make up the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve System. The New York Fed has a major role in carrying out Fed policy, buying and selling Treasury securities to regulate the availability Another Day in NYC by flickr4jazz, on Flickr of credit, and participating in foreign exchange markets to maintain or adjust the value of the dollar. Five stories below ground, a subbasement holds the largest stock of gold in the world, more than 5,000 tons valued at about $90 billion. (The film Die Hard With a Vengeance depicts a scheme to rob these vaults.) More than $2 trillion in cash and securities is transferred through this building every day.

The building itself is a Renaissance fortress (complete with turret) designed by York & Sawyer and built from 1919-35. The ironwork by Samuel Yellin is considered one of its main attractions.







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South:

10 (corner): Liberty Plaza, a 45-story luxury apartment tower that opened in 2004. Didn't anyone point out that the name was already taken?












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Legion Memorial Square

NYC: Louise Nevelson Plaza  by wallyg, on Flickr

This triangular space--presumably named after World War I--is dominated by Shadows and Flags, a series of steel sculptures by Louise Nevelson. (The plaza was officially renamed Nevelson Plaza in 1977, when the sculpture was installed.)


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What am I missing on Liberty Street? Write to Jim Naureckas and tell him about it.

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