Stone Street Historic District
The cluster of buildings along winding Stone, South William, and Pearl Streets and Coenties Alley forms one of Downtown's last oases of early 19th-century New York.
Stone Street's stores and lofts were built for dry-goods merchants and importers, shortly after the Great Fire of 1835. Picturesque turn-of-the-century additions include Dutch-style facades with stepped gables on South William Street, designed for New York merchant Amos Eno, who loved the city's colonial history.
Following decades of neglect, a joint partnership between the Landmarks Commission and other city agencies, the Alliance for Downtown New York and Stone Street owners has transformed Stone Street from a derelict back alley into one of Downtown's liveliest scenes. Restored buildings, granite paving, bluestone sidewalks and period streetlights set the stage for the half dozen restaurants and cafes, whose outdoor tables are jammed with crowds of happy New Yorkers.
The original location of Stone Street, one of the first paved streets in the city of New York, is still visible today in the existing street bed and in the brown brick pathway, edged in stone, which passes through the lobby of the building located at 85 Broad Street.
Colonial New York Street Plan
New York City originated in 1624 as the Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam. The Great Fire of 1835 destroyed much of what survived from the Dutch settlement. One very visible aspect of the old Dutch village at the southern tip of Manhattan Island endures: the street layout, which still plays a vital role in defining Downtown.
Those narrow, winding streets, edged by skyscrapers forming the famous Wall Street canyons, follow the pattern laid out by Colonial predecessors three centuries ago, Beaver Street, Mill Lane, Marketfield Street, Pearl Street, and a dozen more, conform to the plan illustrated in the city's earliest maps.