New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion

Peter Minuit Plaza, Battery Park

This celebratory centerpiece of Peter Minuit Plaza—the Dutch man who bought the island of Manhattan from the Canarsee tribe (who, like most people who sell real estate in Manhattan, actually lived in Brooklyn)—was appropriately designed by Dutch arch... more

This celebratory centerpiece of Peter Minuit Plaza—the Dutch man who bought the island of Manhattan from the Canarsee tribe (who, like most people who sell real estate in Manhattan, actually lived in Brooklyn)—was appropriately designed by Dutch architectural firm UNStudio as a public space that will offer a relaxing way-station for beleaguered travelers, with the plein (French for "open space") hosting public events and open-air markets as well as seating and tables for visitors to enjoy the extension of nearby Battery Park. At the center of the open space will be a sculptured pavilion intended to look—from an aerial perspective—like an opening flower and will be adorned with festive LED lighting to provide the pavilion with a colorful lightshow after dusk.


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Financial District Description

New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time.

The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc.

The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!

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Peter Minuit Plaza, Battery Park
New York, NY

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