X. Front Cover
1. Objectives of 9-11 DBCC and Roster of Sponsors and Supporters
2. History of Downtown and Interesting Places - Plus A Virtual Tour
Getting Around Downtown (Lower Manhattan)
DBCC-Directory I - Shopping and Dining
DBCC-Directory II - Financial and Professional Services and Technology Businesses
9-11 Memorial Websites - Poems, Songs, Photos, Videos and Stories
Utility Tools - Area Code and International Call Tables and World Wide Toll Free Directory

8. Acknowledgement of Contributors 

9. Contact Us and Order Information


Downtown - It All Started From Here
  • Where did the Dutch name their colonial town in America, Nieuw Amsterdam?
  • Where is New York’s first archeological dig?
  • Where did the nations send their gold for safe-keeping?
  • Where was George Washington sworn in as the nation’s first president? 
  • Where was the Bill of Rights adopted by Congress?
  • Where do millions of immigrants pledge to become new Americans?
  • Where can you find the most ethnic cuisine in less than a half square mile of land?
  • Where is the neighborhood that has the most concentrated public transportation? 

The answer to all these questions: Downtown New York.

"Downtown’s rich and varied history, from Colonial settlement to world-famous urban complex, spans close to four centuries. This compact area at the tip of Manhattan Island – half of it built on land reclaimed from surrounding waters of about one square mile – has played an outsized role in the development of both the city and the nation, and is rich in both memories and monuments." (Statement by Downtown Alliances, a non-profit civic group for downtown businesses) 

The tragedy of September 11th has placed Downtown in the spot light of the world stage in this new century. The tragic events did not destroy downtown, on the contrary, they made Downtown emerge stronger. The tragic events could not obscure the history accomplished by immigrants to this land. Before the arrival of European colonists, Downtown was home to a thriving Native American culture. The early settlers built the city. The famous Broadway, Downtown’s major thoroughfare, follows the path of an ancient Algonquian trade route hundreds of miles long – and today it ends at Bowling Green, where the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian helps keep Native American history and culture alive. Later came more European, African, Asian and South American immigrants, they brought in more multi-ethnic culture and diversity, characteristics of Downtown New York. 

Nearly four centuries ago, the first Dutch traders arrived around 1612. Later thirty families of Dutch colonists, sponsored by the Dutch West India Company arrived in New York in 1624. Peter Minuit, a Dutch colonist, bought Manhattan island from Native Americans for 60 guilders (about $24) and named the island New Amsterdam. (The Dutch called their Downtown settlement Nieuw Amsterdam) Though, today, nothing remains above ground from the half-century of Dutch rule, but the winding streets – the famous Downtown canyons – inherited the plan laid out by the Dutch colonists.

The Early Settlement and British Rule 
(Historical facts and web links see reference historyplace.com)

The Dutch New Netherland colony became English New York after Gov. Peter Stuyvesant surrendered to the British following a naval blockade in 1664.The English renamed the colony for the Duke of York. Downtown’s Hanover Square takes its name from the Hanoverian dynasty that still occupies the British throne. The population of New York reached 5000 at 1700, second next to Boston, 7000 and reached to 7000 in 1720 next to Boston and Philadelphia. The New York Bar Association was founded in New York City back in early 1747, perhaps, this explains why there is a high population of lawyers in Downtown New York. In October, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York City, with representatives from nine of the colonies. The Congress prepared a resolution to be sent to King George III and the English Parliament. The petition requests the repeal of the Stamp Act (taxation imposed on American settlers by the British government) and the other Acts of 1764, such as the Currency Act. The petition asserted that only colonial legislatures could tax colonial residents and that taxation without representation violated the colonists' basic civil rights. On November 1, the stamp act went into effect, nearly all colonists refused to use the stamps. In New York City, violence broke out as a mob burned the royal governor in effigy, harassed British troops, then looted houses. In December, British General Thomas Gage, commander of all English military forces in America, asked the New York assembly to make colonists comply with the Quartering Act. (to house and supply his troops) Also in December, the American boycott of English imports spread, as over 200 Boston merchants joined the movement. In August 1765, violence broke out in New York between British soldiers and armed colonists, including Sons of Liberty members. The violence erupted as a result of the continuing refusal of New York colonists to comply with the Quartering Act. In December, the New York legislature was suspended by the English Crown after once again voting to refuse to comply with the Act. 

The English built a statue of King George III in Bowling Green with a fence to guard it from rebellious colonists around 1765.  The statue was later toppled by the colonists in 1776 but the fence was left, which still encircles the park. 

The Revolution and Independence

During the dozen years of conflict leading to the American Revolution, and a few years later ultimately to her independence in 1781, New York played a prominent role in history. The American revolution broke out on April 19, 1775. On May 10, the American forces led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York. The fort contained a much needed supply of military equipment including cannons which were then hauled to Boston by ox teams. Captured British artillery from Fort Ticonderoga was placed on Dorchester Heights to enforce the siege against the British in Boston. The British evacuated Boston and set sail for Halifax. George Washington then rushed to New York to set up defenses, anticipating the British plan to invade New York City, in March 4-17, 1776. In June, 1776, A massive British war fleet arrived in New York Harbor consisting of 30 battleships with 1200 cannon, 30,000 soldiers, 10,000 sailors, and 300 supply ships, under the command of General William Howe and his brother Admiral Lord Richard Howe. On July 4th, the Congress formally endorses Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

On July12,  as a show of force, two British frigates sailed up the Hudson River blasting their guns. Peace feelers were then extended to the Americans. At the request of the British, Gen. Washington met with Howe's representatives in New York and listened to vague offers of clemency for the American rebels. Washington politely declined and left. August 27-29, Gen. Howe led 15,000 soldiers against Washington's army in the Battle of Long Island. Washington, outnumbered two to one, suffered a severe defeat as his army was outflanked. The Americans retreated to Brooklyn Heights, facing possible capture by the British or even total surrender. But at night, the Americans crossed the East River in small boats and escaped to Manhattan, then evacuated New York City and retreated up through Manhattan Island to Harlem Heights. Washington then changed tactics, avoiding large scale battles with the British by a series of retreats.

A peace conference was held on Staten Island on September 11 with British Admiral, Lord Richard Howe, meeting American representatives including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. The conference failed as Howe demanded the colonists to revoke the Declaration of  Independence. After evacuating New York City on September 16, Washington's army repulsed a British attack during the Battle of Harlem Heights in upper Manhattan. Several days later, fire engulfed New York City and destroyed over 300 buildings. On September 22,  Nathan Hale was caught spying on British troops on Long Island, he was executed without a trial, his last words, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." After evacuating his main forces from Manhattan, Washington's army suffered heavy casualties in the Battle of White Plains from Gen. Howe's forces. Washington then retreated westward on October 22. The revolution war lasted till October 17, 1781. Finally, off Yorktown, Virginia, a major naval battle between the French fleet of de Grasse and the outnumbered British fleet of Adm. Thomas Graves resulted in a victory for de Grasse. The British fleet retreated to New York for reinforcements, leaving the French fleet in control of the Chesapeake. The French fleet established a blockade, cutting Cornwallis off from any retreat by sea. French naval reinforcements then arrived from Newport. As Yorktown was about to be taken, the British sent out a white flag. Gen. Washington and Gen. Cornwallis then worked out terms of surrender. The revolution war was won.

Bits of Local History in Downtown

Fraunces Tavern and Federal Hall

Revolutionary plotters met secretly at the Queen Charlotte Tavern (named for the wife of George III). Renamed Fraunces Tavern at the end of the Revolutionary War. The tavern played host in 1783 to General George Washington’s famed farewell dinner for his officers. New York served as the new nation’s first capital. In 1789, Washington took the presidential oath of office at Downtown’s Federal Hall on Wall Street. The original Federal Hall has disappeared, but a few blocks to the north on Broadway, Washington’s original pew is preserved in Downtown’s Colonial-era St. Paul’s Chapel.

Downtown Seaport

New York’s prosperity grew out of its prominence as the nation’s most important port. Early 19th-century China clipper ships sailed from South Street, the “Street of Ships,” on the East River, while the blocks around Bowling Green grew into Steamship Row. Immigrants to New York  first also disembarked at South Street, until a processing center opened in Downtown’s Castle Garden – predecessor of nearby Ellis Island and now called Castle Clinton. Today’s South Street Seaport is a tourist attraction, a blend of  preserved buildings and ships and the skyscraper offices of the Cunard line standing above lower Broadway.

Houses of Worship

Downtown houses of worship were established by colonists and immigrants as early as in seventeen century. They also represented some of the early American architecture. Trinity Church was founded in 1699 as a parish of the Church of England. After the Revolution it became one of the nation’s first Episcopal congregations. State Street is home to the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton, baptized in 1803 at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street. Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation in North America, built its synagogue on Mill Street in 1654. John Street Methodist Church is the descendant of the 1768 Wesley Chapel, the nation’s first Methodist Church; an off-shoot, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, became one of the nation’s most prominent African-American congregations. 

Printing and Publishing Industry 

William Bradford set up New York’s first printing press in 1693 at a Downtown office located on Pearl Street. In 1725, he published the first New York Gazette. His apprentice,  John Peter Zenger, was arrested and accused of seditious libel by the Governor in 1734. Next year, John Peter Zenger was brought to trial for libel but was acquitted after his lawyer successfully convinced the jury that truth is a defense against libel, a landmark case for freedom of speech. By the 19th century, so many publications had moved to Downtown’s Park Row that it became informally known as Newspaper Row, and the surrounding area as Printing House Square. As media technology advanced beyond printing, downtown is now emerging as a center of new media.

Financial District

Wall Street has been synonymous with banking and finance for two centuries. Wall Street projects the image of wealth, stocks, bonds, gold and money. The New York Stock Exchange traces its origins to an informal group of brokers meeting under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street as early as 1792, just two years after Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, issued bonds to pay the Revolution’s debt. Numerous banks, insurance companies and express offices built their headquarters in downtown around Wall Street. The financial services are well represented in the DBCC II Directory presented below.

Technology and Architecture

Downtown is the birth place of American skyscrapers thanks to technology and high valued real estate. The World Trade Center's twin towers combined modern skyscraper technology and architectural beauty. The destruction of the towers will not impede the continuous progress made and to be made in Downtown. Downtown is the best representation of two centuries of human progress. Starting with the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway, built at
the end of the 1860s, skyscraper development brought a succession of major towers: The Woolworth Building, the 140 Broadway and others. Take a virtual tour of Downtown, you will find a feast of architecture, culture and history. 

Virtual Tour of LOWER Manhattan

Downtown, as an historic center beautifully set between the Hudson and East River, displays a majestic harbor, stunning architecture variation, tall ships of sea, and the city’s most dramatic skyline and streetscape views. Downtown will continue to make progress and history in all dimensions. As ideas and plans are being contemplated for the recovery and reconstruction of Downtown after the 9-11 attack, Downtown can reflect on its glorious past and anticipate an even brighter future.

The above descriptions about downtown's history and interesting places are not a comprehensive story. This CD attempts to draw your interest to Downtown New York, to help you get around Downtown to do business or for pleasure. You may find that this CD only offers you threads of clues not a complete picture of the Lower Manhattan. The mini movies scattered in this CD and the virtual tour presented below are camera views of Lower Manhattan. We let you take in these images and urge you to find them in the real world and then write your own captions. 

Let's take a moment to enjoy a virtual downtown tour.

The above Virtual Tour of Downtown is shot and produced by Digital Destinations and Published by IPO2U.COM. 

  Other NY web sites 


The Downtown Alliance produces a broad array of materials to help make the experience of living in, working in, and visiting the Downtown area easier and more valuable. Reports, newsletters and market surveys are available for downloading. If you do not find what you are looking for, prefer to receive hard copies or require any informational materials in bulk, you may send an e-mail to: ContactUs@DowntownNY.com


As a word in the dictionary, Downtown is defined as the central or lower part of  a city, especially the main commercial area. However, in the big apple, downtown has numerous definitions depending on who is defining it. In this project, our main objective is to help promote New York businesses that are most seriously affected by the 9-11 tragedy. Therefore, we are going to take an all-inclusive definition of Downtown New York. Hence we will use Downtown and Lower Manhattan interchangeably. Naturally, the closer the business to the World Trade Center site the more the business was affected.

Downtown New York has a long history and there are many interesting places.  It will not be possible to introduce them all here. However, we welcome suggestions to include anything that is of interest to our intended audience of this CD




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