Set on Manhattan's southeastern tip, the Financial District (also known as FiDi) lies on what was the original 17th century settlement of New Amsterdam. Today it is the financial heart of the city, boasting the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The neighborhood consists of the area south of City Hall Park and east of Battery Park City.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, much of lower Manhattan's office real estate was converted to residential developments. These luxury conversions, as well as new towers, are attractive to young professionals who work in the Financial District and enjoy the convenience. Families are also drawn to the area's many high-end buildings, which, while offering desirable amenities, are more affordable than other kid-friendly neighborhoods like the Upper East Side or Greenwich Village.
Popular apartment buildings in the area include 30 Park Place, an 82-story, mixed-use tower designed by starchitect Robert A.M. Stern; 101 Warren Street, a sleek, modern building by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill that occupies almost an entire city block; and Liberty Tower, a converted Gothic Revival tower, originally built in 1910.
The South Street Seaport is a major neighborhood attraction. The 12-block historic district, which is the original port of New York City, features shopping, dining, and the South Street Seaport Museum. Pier 17 is set to undergo a major development by the Howard Hughes Corporation that will include new, contemporary architecture, additional commercial space and an outdoor entertainment venue.
Other cultural attractions in the area include the Museum of American Finance, the New York City Police Museum, the newly opened National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and Trinity Church, built in 1697. Walking tours often head down the Financial District's cobblestone streets, taking in the slew of historic sites related to the city's early days as a center for commerce.
Longtime culinary institutions like Delmonico's, considered America's first restaurant, and Fraunces Tavern, housed in what is said to be New York City's oldest building, are favorite dining spots. The neighborhood has a lively post-4 p.m. bar scene frequented by Wall Street workers and locals alike.
Since the tragedies of 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy, the city has committed to funding infrastructure and quality-of-life improvements in Lower Manhattan. One such project is the Fulton Street Transit Hub, a $1.4-billion undertaking by the MTA that will connect 10 major subway lines, as well as the PATH train, set to be completed by the end of 2014