Vietnam War Veterans Memorial
All visitors, whether or not they are old enough to remember the Vietnam War, find this memorial a powerful experience. The simple 1985 granite and glass-block wall, 14 feet high by 70 feet long, is inscribed with writings. Mostly excerpts from letters home by soldiers, some of whom were killed in action, they evoke the emotion of the war. Shelves are provided for flowers, wreaths and candles. At dusk, the memorial is lit from within.
Dutch City Hall Site
Building Downtown means building on history - literally. The office building at 85 Broad Street occupies the site of New York's very first city hall, a 1642 tavern (the Stadt Herbergh) on Pearl Street - converted for the purpose in 1653 by the good burghers of the original Dutch colony. Renamed the Stadt Huys (City Hall), it stood here until 1697.
Given the history, and the imminent destruction of any underground remains by the proposed construction of 85 Broad, in 1980 the site was temporarily turned over to a team of archeologists undertaking New York's first large-scale archaeological dig. Although they found no trace of the Stadt Huys, the excavators did uncover the foundations of another early building - the Lovelace Tavern, built in 1670 for New York's second English governor, Sir Francis Lovelace - and some 10,000 fragments of old Dutch tobacco pipes, 11,000 pieces of glass, and 23,000 shards of ceramic pottery. Remnants of the foundations and photographs of some of these artifacts can be seen in the plaza, under glass - a window into Downtown's archaeological past.