Posts Tagged ‘New York’s shipping past’

Lower Manhattan’s ships and sea creatures

March 19, 2011

New York in the 18th and 19th centuries prospered as a center for shipping and trade.

So it’s no surprise that so many office buildings in the Financial District pay visual homage to the city industries that made their fortunes off the sea.

Facades from Wall Street to Bowling Green are decorated with anchors, ships, and sea creatures—like the image above of a shell and two fish wrapped around Neptune’s trident at 67 Wall Street.

It’s the former HQ of the Munson Steamship Line, launched in 1899 to make trips from New York to Central and South America.

Across the street at 74 Wall is the one-time Seamen’s Bank for Savings, formed in 1839 to encourage sailors to save their paychecks (not spend their dough on booze and prostitutes, who made a nice living off these guys).

Bas reliefs of fish, tall ships, and scenes at sea are carved into the building, above.

Four seahorses stand guard over the entrance of the Maritime Exchange Building, constructed in 1931 at 80 Broad Street.