Perhaps no other area of New York City has experienced a convergence of money, power and history quite like lower Manhattan.
Home to the city's early Dutch settlers, Wall Street and its environs have proved to be an economic engine for the country. Now the area is undergoing transformation as its austere buildings are transformed into swank condominiums.
In a nod to the importance of the area both historically and architecturally, the 36-block area of the Wall Street Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The listing became official at a ceremony Monday at the Federal Hall National Memorial, in itself an important example of the district's legacy.
The building was constructed from 1833 to 1842 in high-style Greek Revival architecture and was the site of George Washington's inauguration in 1789.
"It's possible that no single area tells the story of America's progression from a primarily rural nation to a diverse industrial society as well as the Wall Street Historic District," said Steven McClain, the president of the National Architectural Trust, in a statement.
While the federal designation affords some protection, its primary benefit may be to qualify the district for tax benefits and some properties for preservation grants. The National Register, administered by the National Parks Service, doesn't limit what can be done with the buildings,